Extreme heat makes working dangerous for those outside

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - With temperatures soaring into the upper 90's, and the heat index around 110 degrees, many people are doing their best to avoid the outdoors.

But for those who make their living working outside, they said Wednesday's dangerous temperatures made it nearly impossible to get their jobs done.

How do roofers, for example, deal with the heat? Live 5 went to Home Depot in search of a gadget that will give us some answers.

"It's really pretty simple. it's got a trigger on it. you shoot it, you got a lazer that comes out and tells you the temperature," Home Depot employee Philip Northrop said.

You can instantly find out how hot the surface of anything is, so we're going to take it on some roofs and test it out.

At Harold's Pharmacy on Charlie Hall Boulevard in West Ashley, the pavement itself is blazing, about 121 degrees, but the roof clocked in at 152.

The site supervisor says in heat this extreme, it is up to each worker whether they want to keep working or not.

"I don't tell people they have to work at a certain time. When they're ready to take a break, they take break and get some water," Anthony Wieszkowiak said.

On Highway 61 at Linda B's Salon, Donnie Long says he and the other two men working on the roof had to take a three-hour lunch break to give the roof time to cool down, something he's rarely had to do in his 28 years in the roofing business.

Around 5 p.m., this roof was about 120 degrees

"We're trying to work in the shade where it's cooler because in the direct sunlight is unbearable," Long said.

Copyright WCSC 2011. All rights reserved.