Heatwaves are the deadliest natural hazard in Queensland, leading to the loss of more than 100 lives every year.

Queensland is experiencing an increase in  the frequency and duration of heat waves, which is why you need to understand how to stay safe during these conditions.

What is a heatwave?

A heatwave occurs when there are more than a few days in a row above 34 degrees, often combined with high humidity.

In Australia, heatwaves usually range from 37°C to 42°C. Check out the Bureau of Meteorology’s video below to learn more about heatwaves and why they occur.

Watch Understanding heatwaves on YouTube.
Understanding heatwaves

Understand your risk           

Heatwaves can impact anyone. However, there are members in our community who are particularly vulnerable and need to take special care during heat waves. This includes:

  • babies and young people
  • elderly
  • pregnant and breastfeeding people
  • people with medical conditions such as asthma
  • pets, and
  • people who work in the outdoors.

If you are in one of these vulnerable categories, or care for someone who is, it is important to follow a few simple steps to reduce your risk to stay cool and hydrated during heat waves.

Steps to reduce the impact of a heatwave

Watch SafeWork South Australia’s video on heat awareness and the simple steps you can take to keep you and those you care for safe during a heatwave.


Watch Heat awareness on YouTube.
Heatwave awareness


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Be prepared before a heatwave
• If you have a medical condition, ask your doctor for advice on how to manage the heat. • Think of simple ways to make your home or building cooler • Have air conditioners serviced before the beginning of summer.
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Drink water regularly
• Drink 2 to 3 litres of water a day at regular intervals, even if you do not feel thirsty. • Limit intake of alcohol, soft drinks, tea or coffee. • Eat as you normally would but try to eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit. Avoid heavy protein foods which raise body heat and increase fluid loss.
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Keep out of the heat as much as possible
• Plan your day to keep activity to a minimum during the hottest part of the day. • If you can, avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (11am–3pm). Avoid strenuous activities and gardening. • Do not leave children, adults or animals in parked cars. • If you do go out, wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, porous clothes, a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen. • Regularly rest in the shade and drink plenty of water.
Children running through sprinkler
Stay as cool as possible
• Stay inside, in the coolest rooms in your home. Block out the sun during the day and keep windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. • Use fans and air-conditioners at home to keep cool, or spend time elsewhere in air-conditioning. • Take frequent cool showers or baths and splash yourself several times a day with cold water.

Find out more and Get Ready

Check out these other pages and resources to help you Get Ready.