AMUSEMENT arcades may have to turn off some of their machines to reduce the heat with record temperatures set to hit the seafront.

Martin Richardson, owner of Happidrome arcade, Marine Parade, Southend, is among the seafront traders gearing up for the start of the summer holidays as the mercury is set to rise to 38 degrees in the day with record temperatures also predicted at night.

Mr Richardson said: “This week is the first real week of the summer holidays, so we have doubled up on our ice cream stock, will be introducing earlier shifts, having the air con on for longer, we’ve overstocked on water and have even introduced an extra fridge. We will have to turn some of our machines off due to the heat, they have light bulbs in and will pump out hot air, so we need to be careful.”

Suzanne Gloyne, manager of Southend Business Improvement District (BID), said: “The temperatures in Southend are matching those in the Mediterranean.

“Of course, Southend BID is prepared for the heatwave by making sure that our street rangers patrol the key visitor areas where their help is most frequently needed.”

Ambulance and healthcare staff have urged the public to take care in the sun and stay out of it between 11am and 3pm.

The East of England Ambulance Service revealed they had an increase in calls for heart conditions and strokes.

Dawn Patience, director of nursing for Basildon Hospital, said: “To minimise the risk of heat related illness we would advise people to keep well hydrated and drink plenty of water.”

Kevin Wood, clinical director at Cherrydown Vets, said: “We would advise against taking pets outside on hot days and ensure they have plenty of fresh water and cool areas to stay in. Signs of dehydration include excessive panting. If a dog shows signs of heat exhaustion a vet must be called immediately and the dog hosed down, covered in wet towels or fanned.”

A spokesman for Basildon Council urged people to look after the isolated and elderly.