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Winter safety advice

Keep warm

When heating your home, you should heat it to a temperature comfortable for you with a recommendation of at least 18°C for rooms you frequently use, such as your living room or bedroom. You should keep bedroom windows closed at night.

Maintaining indoor temperatures is particularly important if you are not mobile, have a long-term illness, or are 65 or over. It is also advised to avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold-related illness.

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Additional or alternative methods include heating your body rather the home. To do this you can:

  • wear several layers rather than one thick layer, this could include a base layer and using hats and scarves
  • keep your feet warm with slippers or the right socks and footwear
  • use a hot water bottle (see safety advice below)
  • turn on an electric blanket or other heated electrical items (see safety advice below)
  • gentle exercise or move around - preferably every hour
  • eat regularly and try to include one hot meal a day. View information on food banks and how to save money on food.

You can find a list of the cheapest ways to keep warm on MoneySavingExpert (opens new window).

Find your local warm space

Safety at home

As the cold weather keeps many indoors, staying safe at home while keeping warm is essential. Find below a few safety tips to keep in mind during the coming winter period and colder weather.

  • Hot water bottle use - Ensure your hot water bottle is in good condition. Hot water bottles can be used for up to two to three years. However, if the item looks faded or damaged in any way it should be replaced. Hot water should be cooled slightly before being added to the bottle and the bottle stored empty to maintain its integrity.

Tip: At the top of your hot water bottle on the funnel, there should be a small flower motif (this might look like a daisy) on one side. This sign will have a number in the middle which is the year it was made. To find out the month, check the individual petals (12 petals to represent 12 months) for dots inside. One dot in the first petal means the first week in January, if it has 13 dots across four petals then it would be the first week of April.

If your hot water bottle doesn't have the daisy sign, check for the BS safety standard (BS 1970:2012). If you cannot find either, you may need to think about getting a new hot water bottle.

Check in on vulnerable neighbours, family and friends

During winter, neighbours, friends and families who are older or more vulnerable may need extra help. Whether that be securing food supplies or medication if they are unable to go out due to the weather or a medical condition, encouraging them to wear shoes with good grip and a scarf if going outside, or just having a chat to check in on how they're feeling.

If they require help over the holiday period when their GP practice or pharmacy is closed or they're not sure what to do, NHS 111 is available. The service can be accessed by phone or online at (opens new window)

Be prepared and stay up to date

The weather can change quickly so keep up to date with the forecast by checking (opens new window) and plan ahead appropriately.

If you need to travel, make sure your vehicle is winter ready using this guide on the Met Office website (opens new window).

Useful links

How to stay well this winter - NHS (opens new window)

Cold weather advice - MoneySavingExpert (opens new window)

Keeping your home warm this winter - Met Office (opens new window)