An Iceland supermarket is letting customers cool down in its freezer aisle as the UK swelters in a heatwave of up to 40C.
The Met Office issuing a “danger to life”warning over the blistering weather, and NHS staff fear being overwhelmed by a huge surge of heat-related casualties.
In response to the soaring temperatures the manager of a branch of Iceland is offering customers the chance to escape the heat.
Evan Shahriar, manager of the Iceland’s Islington supermarket, has created a customer ‘chill-out zone’ in the freezer aisle.
The Iceland branch has put in deckchairs, a cooling spray and free ice lollies.
The store is also giving out chilled water bowls for customer’s dogs.
Iceland store managers say they are used to customers visiting the store’s chilled sections to cool off when the weather gets hot.
Research by Iceland found 58% of Brits have gone into a supermarket freezer aisle to cool down when they’re feeling too warm.
Evan said: “Over the last week we’ve spotted dozens of shoppers popping into the store just to cool down. Who can blame them?
“So we decided we might as well go the extra mile and create an official chill-out zone so they don’t need to feel guilty. The response has been amazing.”
The UK is facing its first ever national emergency due to rising temperatures .
Government ministers are drawing up plans as a Level 4 Heatwave Alert could be announced, with the UK already set at level 3 for most of England and Wales for Sunday and Monday.
Level 4 means even fit and healthy people could be in danger of illness and death due to the extreme weather, not just those in vulnerable groups.
Headteachers could be left to decide whether to open or close schools as classrooms and common areas get too hot to be safe for youngsters and staff.
They look set to be given the same powers to choose what is right for their pupils as they do on a snow day.
Officials are warning that people living in south-facing top-level flats, those with drug and alcohol dependencies, and the homeless are all at high risk from the extreme conditions.
They also warn that there could be an increase in the number of pet deaths due to irresponsible owners leaving them in restricted enclosures with poor ventilation.
The unusually hot weather is not good news for farmers as it will lead to damaged crops, spoiled produce as a result of hot storage conditions, and lower-than-normal yield of fruit, vegetables and grains.
Increased demand for water supplies could also see local hosepipe bans brought in by water companies.
Disruption is expected across the road and rail network, with users of the London Underground advised to carry water with them.
The Met Office has said that heatwaves are the deadliest extreme weather event in the UK with an average of 2,000 heat-related deaths each year.