Updated 06/30/2012 02:47 PM
NYC Battles Another Hot Day; Officials Warn Against Opening Fire Hydrants Illegally
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As the city enters another day of 90 degree temperatures, New Yorkers are doing whatever they can to beat the heat.
But officials are warning people looking to cool off to think twice before popping open a fire hydrant.
The state has set aside $3 million to help people in low-income families whose health may be threatened by the heat to get an air conditioner.
The Department of Environmental Protection is deploying mobile command centers to respond to complaints of opened fire hydrants.
They said the water pressure from an illegally-opened hydrant can cause serious problems.
"If you are in a place where you want to open a fire hydrant, don't do it illegally, don't open it," said Carter Strickland, the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. "It's dangerous. It can come out at 1,000 gallons per minute. It's a tremendous force of water. It can injure kids, cars have an issue and it can really harm water pressure which hurts the ability of the fire department to fight fires."
Fire hydrants can be opened legally by getting a city-approved spray cap at local firehouses.
You must be 18 years old to pick up a spray cap.
There are other ways to keep cool from the heat.
Cooling centers will be open again throughout the five boroughs.
To find one near you, call 311 or go online to nyc.gov/oem.
Meanwhile, the state has set aside 3 million dollars to help low income families stay cool.
The city's beaches are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Just remember to always swim where lifeguards are on duty.
The newly-renovated McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn will reopen Saturday after closing early Friday because of a fight between a crowd of people and the lifeguards.
And the city's pools are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information on pools and beaches, go online to nyc.gov/parks.
With the intense heat across the city, it's important to keep an eye on your elderly neighbors and the city is trying to do its part.
Citymeals-on-Wheels volunteers are delivering meals to the city's homebound elderly residents.
They're also providing bottled water to make sure people stay hydrated.
"Older people cannot regulate their temperatures automatically like you and I do," said Beth Shapiro, the executive director of Citymeals-on-Wheels. "Their bodies just don't work as quickly as ours do, so in this heat it's even more important for someone to check on them. If they have AC make sure it's on, make sure their fans are on."
Citymeals-on-Wheels provides more than 1.5 million meals each year to more than 15,000 New Yorkers.