With cold weather expected throughout this week including the possibility of snow, Hampshire County Council is asking residents to keep an eye on vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours.
Taking extra care during cold weather is important for everyone but particularly for those people who are more vulnerable to suffering ill health due to the cold, such as babies and very young children (under 5 years), older people (75+ years), and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart conditions, circulatory disease, asthma, COPD, depression, anxiety, diabetes or arthritis.
Cllr Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said: “With some of the coldest weather we’ve seen so far this winter, it’s really important that everyone is aware of the effects the cold can have on their health. While some groups are particularly vulnerable, and we would ask for everyone’s support in looking after them, being aware of the simple steps you can take to keep warm is really important.”
Keep your home warm, efficiently and safely by:
- heating your home to at least 18°C (65°F) is beneficial to all, but particularly important for people aged 65 years and over or with pre-existing medical conditions. Above this and you may waste money; below this you may risk your health. This will keep your home warm and may lower your bills.
- if you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and your bedroom just before you go to bed.
- get your heating system and cooking appliances checked and keep your home well ventilated.
- use your electric blanket as instructed and get it tested every three years. Never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket.
- switch your appliances (such as TVs and microwaves) off rather than leaving them on standby.
- do not use a gas cooker or oven to heat your home; it is inefficient and there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and this can kill.
- make sure you have a supply of heating oil or LPG or sold fuel if you are not on mains gas or electricity – to make sure you do not run out in winter.
Keep the warmth in by:
- fitting draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors.
- making sure you have loft insulation. And if you have cavity walls, make sure they are insulated too.
- insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes.
- draw your curtains at dusk to help keep heat generated inside your rooms.
- make sure your radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains.
Practical help or advice on keeping your home warm, is available from Hampshire County Council’s Hitting the Cold Spots Project Helpline on 0800 804 8601.
Look after yourself:
- food is a vital source of energy and helps to keep your body warm so have plenty of hot food and drinks.
- aim to include five daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Tinned and frozen vegetables count toward your five a day.
- stock up on tinned and frozen foods so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or ice.
- exercise is good for you all year round and it can keep you warm in winter.
- if possible, try to move around at least once an hour. But remember to speak to your GP before starting any exercise plans.
- wear lots of thin layers – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good and maintain body heat.
- wear good-fitting slippers with a good grip indoors and shoes with a good grip outside to prevent trips, slips and falls.
- make sure you have spare medication in case you are unable to go out.
More advice is available on keeping warm in winter.
Roads and driving
Hampshire’s highways teams are on full alert from October to the end of April, ready to deal with wintery road conditions. 55 salting vehicles and snow ploughs have already been checked and are on stand-by, 4,000 community salt bins have been filled and weather and road conditions are now being monitored 24 hours a day seven days a week.
Please drive according the conditions. Further advice is available online.