Updated 06/20/2012 06:57 PM
Heat Advisory Comes Into Effect For City
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New Yorkers will be trying hard to stay cool during the next few days as a brief stretch of heat makes its way into the five boroughs and beyond.
City beaches were open today, but visitors were only allowed to swim when lifeguards were on duty.
The city's pools do not open until next week.
Opening a fire hydrant is illegal unless you have a city-approved spray cap. Residents can get a spray cap at their local firehouse, but they must be 18 or older.
Meanwhile, Consolidated Edison reduced voltage by 5 percent to dozens of neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn due to electrical equipment problems.
It's being done as a precaution to protect equipment and maintain service while crews work to fix the problems.
The utility is urging customers to conserve electricity, turn off non-essential electrical equipment and lower their thermostats.
"Try to moderate the temperature settings on your air conditioners. We recommend you set the temperature at 78 degrees. Remember, for every degree you go lower you raise your cooling costs about 6 percent. So it's a good savings option for you and it will keep you comfortable throughout the heat wave," said Con Ed Spokesman Michael Clendenin.
To report a power outage or service problems, visit coned.com or call 1-800-75-CON-ED.
Cooling centers are open throughout the five boroughs today.
To find a cooling center near you, call 311 or go online to nyc.gov/oem.
The heat can be especially difficult for senior citizens.
Health experts stress drinking water is the most important way to beat the heat --particularly for those prone to dehydration.
Members of Partners In Care (partnersincareny.org), who will spend much of the week checking in on older residents, spoke with NY1 and offered a helpful suggestion for making sure residents are getting enough water.
"The best tip I can recommend is to have a pitcher filled with water and before you go to bed to make sure that, that pitcher is completely empty. It contains about 8 glasses of water which is the necessary intake per day," said Partners in Care Nurse Clinical Manager Renata Gelman.
The group also suggests staying out of the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
MTA Readies For Potential Heat-Related Problems
As the temperatures soar above ground, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is preparing for the intense heat in the city's subway stations.
Severe heat can affect signals and overheat power lines.
MTA officials say they will reduce power consumption in order to avoid any outages.
That means some elevator and escalator service throughout the transit system could be halted.
Trains could also go a little slower.
Customers are being urged to check the MTA's website for more information.
Mass transit updates are also available on NY1's 24-hour Rail and Road report on Time Warner Cable Channel 104.