Cold weather can affect your health and the people most likely to be affected are the elderly, the very young, and people with pre-existing medical conditions.
However, there are lots of ways you can help yourself and your family in the cold weather, such as:
Get your heating system checked
Make sure your boiler and heating system is working safely and efficiently.
Keeping warm can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression so remember to try and keep your heating to a constant temperature between 18°C and 21°C during the day and at least 18°C at night.
Please ensure you also have working smoke alarms and BS EN 50291 standard carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
Keep moving and wrap up
Any activity, even cleaning, gets the circulation going and makes you feel warmer.
Wear multiple layers of clothing, indoors and out, and move around at least once an hour. You should also avoid sitting still for long periods.
Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights
Breathing in cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections so keep your windows closed where possible.
Check your water pipes and keep them insulated
Check pipes are lagged and know where to turn off your water supply. Not only is getting your boiler checked a good idea but wrapping up water pipes with lagging to insulate them for when the cold weather arrives can also help.
It’s also a good idea to leave your heating on low - around 14°C - to keep water circulating around your pipes.
Warm Home service
If you’re over 65, living in a cold home or have a long term health condition, you may be eligible for the Age UK’s Warm Home service.
It can help increase your income to pay for energy bills and help make your home more energy efficient.
Sign up for weather warnings
Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter where you will receive weather alert warnings.
Keep an eye on your neighbours or relatives
Make sure they are safe, warm and well.
Hypothermia is a danger in cold weather so look after elderly and vulnerable people by making sure they are heating their house correctly. If you think someone has hypothermia, call 999.
For more information on staying warm, go to:
• Keeping Warm and Energy Advice;
• Dealing with extreme weather;
• Preparing for emergencies;
• Follow us on Twitter for regular updates @WSCCNews, @WSCCResilience and @wspublichealth.