Keep warm and well and look out for others
Tue 25 Nov, 2014
Firefighters are urging people to keep warm and well during the current cold spell, and in particular to look out for elderly friends and neighbours.
Neil Boustred, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety manager, said: “We are not just here to provide an emergency response service when things go wrong. We do a lot of work with our police, health and council colleagues to try to make sure our communities are safe by nipping potential emergencies in the bud.
“This includes providing advice to help people cope with challenging situations, such as bad weather, and pointing them in the direction of organisations that can give them additional support."
Here are some of Neil’s winter tips:
- Check that elderly friends, relatives and neighbours are safe and well throughout the winter months.
- Make sure they are warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so that they do not need to go out during very cold weather. For example, a simple helpful act, such as offering to post letters or Christmas cards for a neighbour, could help them avoid the possibility of a fall.
- During the day, wear plenty of thin layers, rather than one thick one. Put on a coat, hat, scarf, gloves and warm shoes or boots when you go outside.
- If you can’t heat all your rooms, make sure you keep your living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed.
- Take care with portable heaters, and don't sit or stand right next to them. The advice from Stoke Mandeville Hospital's Burns Unit is to be at least three feet away from them.
- Stay warm in bed with bed socks, thermal underwear and a nightcap or headscarf. An electric blanket or a hot water bottle will also help you keep warm, but never use them together as you could electrocute yourself. If you have an electric blanket, check what type it is – some are designed only to warm the bed before you get in and should not to be used throughout the night.
- If you have heart or respiratory problems, stay inside as much as possible during a cold snap.
- Watch what you eat - a healthy diet will reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and some cancers. Hot drinks will give you warmth and energy.
- Keep active by trying to move around at least once an hour, and avoid sitting down for long periods of time. Light, regular activity will help to keep you warm.
- Click here for the Government's Keep Warm, Keep Well leaflet.