PHOENIX – A man in his mid-60s is Maricopa County's first death due to heat-related illness this year.
The man was found in his home in early June without functioning air conditioning, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. Officials said he also had underlying health conditions.
The man's name wasn't released.
"This is another sad reminder about how seriously we need to take our heat here in the desert," said Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa County Public Health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die in the U.S. from heat than from all other natural disasters combined.
People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves.
Keep the following practices in mind to stay safe and healthy during the scorching days of summer:
• Stay hydrated
• Do not rely on fans as your primary source of cooling
• Make sure you are coming indoors frequently to an air conditioned location to cool your core body temperature
• Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and lightweight clothes
• Provide for your pets
• Never leave your kids, pets and others who may rely on you in the car
• Check on friends and neighbors
• Stay informed and know how hot it is going to be and for how long; sign up for heat alerts at www.azhealth.gov.
For heat resources, statistics and specifics on how heat affects vulnerable populations, visit www.heataz.com.