safety tips & advice for everyone...
the Mercury dropping, we thought we would give you some helpful
advice and tips to ensure you have the safest and most comfortable
winter possible. They are split into personal health, household
advice & traveling by car advice...
personal health advice & tips for winter
Eat for warmth – regular hot meals and hot drinks will provide
warmth and energy over winter. Try to have at least one substantial
meal a day. Potatoes, beans, bread, milk, eggs, meat and fish are
all healthy eating options.
Keep moving – many people find that it gets more difficult
to keep warm as they get older. Any kind of activity, from walking
to the shops to hoovering gets the circulation going. Try not to
sit for long stretches. If you have difficulty walking, moving your
arms and legs or wiggling your toes will help.
Dress for warmth – wrapping up warmly, both indoors and out,
is very important. Several layers of thin clothing will keep you
warmer than one thick jumper. Clothing made from natural fibres,
such as wool, is usually warmer than man-made fibres. Warm thick
tights or long socks are a must. When you go out, make sure you
are dressed for the weather. Make sure you have enough warm layers
under your coat and wear gloves, hat and scarf.
Keep warm at night – a hot water bottle will warm your bed
up, as will an electric blanket. Never use the two together though
as this can be very dangerous. Thermal underwear, or pyjamas, bed
socks and even a cap for your head will all help keep you warm through
the night. A warm milky drink before bed can also help. Further,
however much you like fresh air, in very cold weather it is advisable
to keep your bedroom window closed.
on keeping your winter fuel bill as low as possible
Open your curtains in the morning to let the sun shine through south-facing
Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping.
Switch off lights when you leave the room.
Lighting costs account for 20% of the average electricity bill.
If you have ceiling fans, switch them on. Hot air rises, so a fan
on a low setting will circulate heat throughout the room.
Avoid covering radiators with clothes or curtains.
Switch gas and electricity suppliers to get a better deal. According
to the regulator Ofgen, around 167,000 people each week take this
route to cutting their bills by an average of £140 a year.
Turn your central heating thermostat down. Turning it down by just
one degree will save you about £10 a year, but if you switch
to a cheaper supplier you might not have to.
Buy energy saving lightbulbs. These last longer than ordinary bulbs
and use a fifth of the electricity, saving you about £80 over
the lifetime of the bulb, even when you take the higher initial
price into account.
Draught-proof your windows and doors. Draughts can be fixed quickly
and easily with minimal DIY skills. You might also need to replace
any loose window locks.
Put aluminium foil behind radiators, especially those fitted to
outside walls. Ordinary kitchen foil will do, or use specially designed
panels from DIY shops. This will reflect heat back into the room.
Clean the back of your fridge and freezer regularly. Dust reduces
their efficiency. If you are buying new appliances, it is worth
considering that most have an energy efficiency rating of A to G.
The closer to an A-rating, the better.
Improve your house's loft insulation. This can save you up to 20%
on your heating bills. Lofts should be insulated to a minimum of
6 to 8 inches. You can do this yourself or employ a contractor.
Treat your immersion heater to a new insulation blanket. This is
especially important if it's an older model. Consult the manufacturer's
equipment guide to check whether this is recommended.
Install a digital thermostat. This will cost you around £20-30
and can save you hundreds of pounds, as it will allow you to turn
the heating down or off when you're going to be out of the house
for the day.
If you can afford it, fit double glazing. The Council for Energy
Efficiency Development claims that, for a typical three-bedroom
semi, double glazing should cost between £130 and £250,
or £40 to do it yourself.
Service your central heating system. Heaters need a good annual
check-up to ensure that they are as efficient as possible - you
might also want to upgrade equipment to help reduce gas usage.
you should carry in your boot in cold weather
2 bottles of water (with bowl for any dogs aswell)
A thick pair of socks & gloves
A thick hat
2 thick blankets
1 first aid kit
An ice scraper
A few packets of long lasting high calorie energy bars
Candles & matches
ALWAYS take your charged up mobile with you whenever you leave the