Safety planning for summer heat and wildfire smoke

With the summer season approaching, we would like to remind our campus community about health and safety planning and prevention measures for heat events and when outdoor air quality is affected by wildfire smoke. 

The provincial government enacted a public health heat warning and extreme heat emergency notification system following the heat dome of 2021.

  • A heat warning may be issued when temperatures are higher than seasonal norms and holding steady for several days.
  • An extreme heat emergency is declared when temperatures are well above seasonal norms and there is a high certainty that temperatures will increase substantially each day for three or more consecutive days.

There are a range of strategies and tips to keep everyone safe during hot weather or when our region experiences wildfire smoke. Please review the summer heat safety and outdoor air quality websites for more information. For units engaged in outdoor work or summer programs, this is also the time to review your plans and procedures to prevent heat stress and minimize employees’ or participants’ exposure to poor air quality on hotter or smoky days.

This year we have provided additional guidance for supervisors and instructors on indoor environments, recognizing that on hotter days temperatures in some campus buildings may become uncomfortably warm. This guidance includes a range of options and adjustments to consider for activities, schedules and operating hours while at the same time maintaining services and instruction.

Throughout the summer, the university will continue to monitor public health notifications and provide information for the campus community if campus-wide adjustments are required due to heat events or poor air quality.