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Stay safe this winter

It might be common sense - but there are lots of things to consider at home and on the road at winter. Don't get caught out!

On The Road

In snowy weather leave plenty of extra time for your journey. Remember to scrape all ice and snow off your vehicle before travelling and carry spare de-icer. Take a mobile phone with you for emergencies and remember to let people know your estimated time of arrival.

Always take warm clothes in case you become trapped. Store some food in the glove box. It’s a good idea in really bad conditions to keep a spade in the boot, an emergency triangle and a torch.

When driving, don’t brake suddenly. Stay in low gears when approaching bends. Remember to keep your lights on and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front. It can take up to 10 times longer to stop in icy weather.

If you break down, try not to abandon your car in the road. This could prevent emergency vehicles and snowploughs from getting through. Stay well clear of snowploughs and beware overtaking them. Even when roads have been gritted it takes time for the salt to melt into the road.

At Home

Get your boiler serviced to avoid a potentially cold house.

Make sure your drains are unblocked of autumn leaves. Turn off outside taps to avoid burst pipes. Place lagging around pipes in your loft to keep warm air around them. If you are going away, leave the heating on and loft hatch open to keep warm air flowing. Know where your stopcock is in case of a burst pipe.

Make sure your fence and gates aren’t half hanging off the hinges.

Place candles and matches in an easily accessible location in case of a power cut. Stock up on salt and basic foods in case you are snowed in.

Use energy wisely. Storage heaters aren’t designed to be switched on and off. 

Make sure electric blankets are safety tested.

Ensure your loft and windows and well insulated.

In case of flooding, check your home and contents insurance and ensure you have enough cover. Keep the policy and emergency contact number handy.

Keep some wellies and waterproof clothing at hand.

If you can’t buy sandbags, make up emergency ones using pillow cases filled with earth/sand.

The Community

Keep check on the elderly residents. Watch out for post/newspapers/milk mounting up at their door. Are their curtains closed all the time? Have you seen them lately?

Offer a hand. Help post their letters, do their shopping.

Make sure their heating is working properly and they are wearing lots of thin layers of clothes rather than one thick layer.

Ensure they have their heating on a timer (ideally to come on 30 minutes before they get up, 30 minutes after they have gone to bed). The recommended room temperature is 21 degrees.

Useful Numbers

NHS 111 or online
Help The Aged 0800 169 2081

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