It is important to keep warm during cold weather - both inside and outdoors - as exposure to low temperatures can have a serious impact on your health as you get older. Keeping warm also helps to prevent colds, flu and more serious illnesses.
- Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). Rooms you mostly use such as the living room or bedroom should be heated to at least 18°C if you can, particularly if you have a pre-existing health condition.
- Keep your bedroom window closed on cold nights. Breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.
- Wear several layers of light clothes. Several layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thicker layer.
There's really useful advice in the Keep Warm Keep Well booklet produced by the Government and the Stay Well This Winter booklet produced by the NHS. Both booklets contain advice to help you maintain good health during cold weather and take advantage of the financial help available.
Check on others
Older neighbours and relatives and those with heart and lung conditions, as well as very young children, are at particular risk from the cold. That's why it's so important for us all to make sure those at risk are safe and well.
- Keep in touch with your friends, neighbours and family and ask if they need any practical help, or if they're feeling under the weather.
- Make sure they're stocked up with enough food supplies for a few days, in case they can't go out. If they do need to go out in the cold, encourage them to wear shoes with a good grip and a scarf around the mouth to protect them from the cold air, and to reduce their risk of chest infections.
- Make sure they get any prescription medicines if cold weather is forecast.
Insulate your home
Insulating your home not only helps to keep you warm and healthy, but it can also help to keep your heating costs down.
- Fit draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors.
- Make sure that your loft has at least 10-11 inches (270 mm) of insulation. Any home with 4 inches (100 mm) or less should have it topped up.
- If you have wall cavities, make sure that they are insulated too.
- Insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes.
- Draw your curtains at dusk to help keep the heat generated inside your rooms.
- Make sure that your radiators are not obstructed by curtains or furniture.
There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. Find out more on our Cost of Living support page.
During severe or very cold weather, we have a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP). This provides shelter to rough sleepers. Shelter can be accessed through the Ferry Project, the Police or ourselves.
If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, let us know via Streetlink or call 01354 654321.
Take care when driving
Driving in the snow and ice can be extremely hazardous. Make sure you are prepared and only make journeys that are essential. You will find some useful advice on the Gov.uk website to help keep you safe. It explains how to be prepared and how to drive for the conditions.