Here are some things you can do to stay safe and ward off the winter chills:
◾Get your heating system serviced every year by a qualified engineer to ensure it’s running safely and efficiently.
◾Never block air vents and if you have wood-burning, coal or gas heaters make sure there’s adequate ventilation.
◾If water pipes freeze they can burst. Make sure you know where the main stopcock is and check that it’s easy to turn so you can turn off the water if you need to.
◾Have your electric blanket serviced at least every three years.
◾Make sure your smoke alarm is working. You can ask your local fire service to check your home for fire safety. It’s free and you may be eligible to get free smoke alarms fitted.
◾Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in each room that has a gas appliance.
◾Make sure you claim all the financial support you can to help with heating bills.
◾Dress in plenty of layers and make sure you have warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles.
◾Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps or paths in icy weather.
◾Consider fitting a grab rail if you have steps at your front or back door.
◾Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house.
◾Follow up your GP’s invitation to have a flu jab.
◾Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, particularly if bad weather is forecast.
◾Ask your local pharmacy if they offer a prescription pick-up and delivery service.
◾Keep basic food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it’s too cold to go shopping. You could also do your food shopping online and get it delivered to your door.
◾Eat healthily and keep as active as possible.
◾Ask your family, neighbours or friends if they could call or visit you more often.
◾Keep a battery-operated radio, torch and spare batteries handy in case there’s a power cut. Keep your mobile phone, laptop or tablet fully charged so you can use the battery power if there’s no electricity.
◾Keep a list of emergency numbers, such as your utility companies, by your phone.
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