When is it too hot to work outside? How can you beat the heat

Army veteran Sean Carfe owns an A Leg Up pressure washer and shares his tips for fighting the heat when you’re working outside.

ST. JONES COUNTY, Florida — It’s hot outside. When temperatures soared into the 100s in Jacksonville on Friday, it looked like a great day to stay home and enjoy air conditioning.

But what if you can’t do your job indoors?

First Coast News spoke with the owner of a local all-outdoor pressure washer for some tips on how to beat the heat when the thermostat is on the hover.

“In this heat, if you’re not used to it, it can be unbearable,” said Sean Karf, owner of the A Leg Up pressure washer.

On Friday, an excessive heat warning was issued for the entire First Coast.

“Yeah, I got it…one my phone this morning,” joked Karf, who also felt the heat in real life while working in the sun during the day. “Every move you make makes you feel like you’re in an oven and feel like you’re out of breath.”

When it comes to fighting the heat, Karf says yes, hydration is great, but if you only start drinking water when you’re thirsty, it’s already too late.

“You have to drink water before you wake up, which means drinking water and electrolytes at night so you’re ready before you even get out here,” Karf said.

Karf learned his tactical approach from six years of service with the 82nd Airborne Division. He also lost his leg there after stepping on an IEP in Afghanistan in 2012, so he overcame a lot more than the heat.

“When I was at Walter Reed, I saw guys who lost all four limbs, and so I am very happy that I can put on this prosthesis and get to work,” Karf said.

And while he’s at work, the proud combat veteran and Purple Heart winner makes sure he and his team are ready with plenty of cold drinks and even the clothes they wear.

“That’s why we have long sleeves,” Karf said. “To protect our hands from the sun.”

It also doesn’t hurt to get a quick helping of water from a colleague.

“Of course you don’t realize how hot it is until you feel that cold water,” said Karf, who also recommends wearing a hat and taking shade breaks if possible.

More information on the A Leg Up pressure washer can be found on their website.

Many people in our area have jobs that require them to be outside regardless of the weather. In Duval County, 21% of workers work outdoors, which is approximately 90,000 people. Approximately 32% of Putnam County’s workforce is outside the country, which is approximately 8,000 people. 23% of Clay County’s workforce is out of state, which is about 21,000 people.

Jacksonville’s chief resiliency officer says that historically, about three days a year in Duval County are considered dangerous for outdoor work. The city’s CRO says that by 2050, that number could rise to almost 30 dangerous days a year due to global warming.

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