Hot weather advice for UCL staff and students, 9 August 2022

Photo of the Portico during the staff summer event
Photo of the Portico during the staff summer event

With temperatures forecast to rise to the 30s this week, we advise students and staff to take additional steps to stay safe.

High temperatures of up to 30 degrees or more are forecast in London this week, with an amber warning for high heat issued by the Government. The alert will be in place from midday Tuesday 9 August to 6pm on Saturday 13 August for all regions of England.   

During the hot summer conditions, the following measures to increase comfort should be adopted by individuals and departments: 

It may be obvious, but drinking plenty of water is often overlooked. It is recommended to drink between 1.5 and two litres per day. Take a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. There are water bottle refill stations around campus - find them using  this map.  

  • During the heat of the day, keep windows closed, use blinds and temporarily move out of sunny areas. This may seem counter-intuitive, but during very high temperatures opening the windows will nearly always make it warmer inside, and reduces the effectiveness of any air conditioning. 

  • Staff are encouraged to wear looser-fitting, more comfortable clothes, rather than more formal office dress. If you have to go out in the sun, walk in the shade and apply sunscreen. 

  • Increase air movement; e.g. by using local fans, which can be equivalent to reducing the temperature by around 2ºC. If your fan is dust free and in good working order, it should be safe to leave on for long periods of time. But don’t leave a fan on overnight. You must also ensure all fans are regularly tested to ensure the electrics and mechanical connections are working well. 

  • Please remember to switch off equipment at your desk when you are not using it. 

  • There are more tips available on how to cope during periods of extreme heat on and the Government’s Heatwave Plan for England. 

    A network of more than 100 free water fountains  around the city can be used to refill your water while travelling. 

  • If you or someone else has signs of heatstroke including a fast breathing or shortness of breath, a fit, loss of consciousness or is not responsive then we advise you to call 999.  

As fire hazards increase during hot weather and the forecast heat levels in the UK are expected to be unprecedented, we encourage all staff to be extra vigilant about adhering to UCL’s fire and safety protocols. For example, if electrical equipment is non-essential, we encourage you to switch it off and unplug it to reduce the heat it gives out and help protect further from the hazard of fire.

  • University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT (0) 20 7679 2000