Avoid scalding water from hoses under Arizona sun

Updated: Jun. 28, 2019 at 6:16 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - First responders in southern Arizona are warning about a potentially dangerous situation this summer when trying to keep the family cool in triple digit heat.

A quick cool down from the hose is a classic way to beat the heat, but hoses left out in the sun could burn whoever is on the receiving end of that initial spray. Water temperatures can reach as high as 155 degrees.

Burns can happen in just seconds at that temperature, according to the Burn Foundation. The foundation recommends keeping hoses in shaded areas and allowing the water to run until it has cooled down before using.

Captain Kari Spanarella with Rural Metro Fire used a thermal imaging gun to check the temperature of a hose at the fire station near Benson Highway and Valencia Road. The hose was outside but under a cover and still reached triple digits.

"I was surprised," she said. "It was 106, 108 and today isn't even that hot for Tucson."

In more than a dozen years responding to calls, Spanarella has never handled a scalding from a hose. Her advice to anyone who is around when the situation occurs would be:

  • Remove the person from the water
  • Call 911
  • Use cool, not cold, water to begin the cooling process. Don’t use ice
  • Remove any clothing/jewelry that might constrict swelling
  • Apply clean, dry gauze to the burned area. Sheets or towels could work as well

Scalding from hot water is the leading cause of burns for children ages 4 and younger, according to the Burn Foundation.

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