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It's important to stay warm and well over winter. Keep an eye on the forecast, check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, and follow #AshfieldSpreadTheWarmth for advice and tips.
Did you know cold weather and cold homes increase the risk of hospital admissions and death over winter?
To make sure you're safe this winter you should:
- check the latest forecast from the Met Office
- check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours to make sure they are winter ready
- help out by offering to clear drives and pathways of ice and snow
- follow us on social media and look for #AshfieldSpreadTheWarmth for more advice.
If you are worried about an elderly neighbour you can contact Age UK:
- on the Age UK website
- telephone: 0115 844 0011.
Help staying safe and well this winter
- Eat nutritious food - this will keep energy levels up and boost your immune system. Have at least one hot meal a day. Take a look at the energy efficient cooking booklet in the related documents section of this web page
- don’t sit for too long - try to get up and stretch your legs hourly
- have a brew - drink regular hot drinks
- blankets and bottles - use hot water bottles and blankets to keep warm
- flu jab - the flu jab is FREE to individuals who are over 65, pregnant, have asthma or lung disease. Find out more on the NHS website or from your GP
- medication - stock up on medication, where possible, so you don’t have to leave the house in bad weather
- clothing - shoes with grip will help prevent falls and waterproof, insulated coats will keep you warm and dry. Layers of clothing are best and clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres.
Keeping your home warm
Did you know, the recommended room temperature is 21°C for the living room and 18°C for the rest of the home?
Follow these tips to get your home winter ready:
- get a simple thermometer to monitor the temperature of your home
- close curtains and tuck them behind your radiators
- shut internal doors behind you to stop draughts. Why not get some draught excluders for external doors?
- ensure your home is well insulated. Insulated homes keep in the heat, saving money on energy bills
- do you know how to work your heating controls?
- has your boiler been serviced? If not you can find an approved trader on the Nottinghamshire County Council website
- be more energy efficient: turning appliances off, when not in use, and using energy efficient bulbs, for instance, will save money. Find out how to be more energy efficient from the energy saving trust
- are on the best energy tariff? If not you should look at switching. Visit the uSwitch website.
According to the uSwitch website (2018) 'Between 1 Jan 2018 and 30 Jun 2018, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas and electricity with uSwitch.com saved £482 or more.'
Spot the signs of fuel poverty
If you are able to spot the signs of fuel poverty you may be able to help:
- Keeping warm - are they going to bed early just to keep warm? Do they leave the curtains closed all day?
- heating behaviours - have you noticed that one room is heated but the others are cold? Or is the whole house cold? Do they use inappropriate appliances to heat the home, such as ovens?
- avoiding the home - do they spend a lot of time out during the day, in heated spaces, such as a library, café or even A&E?
- cooking habits - are they cooking using alternative sources such as, a barbeque or portable stove? Do they eat warm meals or only cold food?
- money and embarrassment - have they ever borrowed money from you or another friend or relative? How often do they invite you or others over to their home? Or do they always suggest meeting at your house or a public space?
- cutting back - do they have sufficient food levels in their cupboards and fridge? Do they use candles instead of switching on lights to cut back on electricity?
How you can help
Why aren't they heating the home? Is their central heating functioning correctly? Do they have central heating? If you're really worried about an elderly person contact Age UK by:
- telephone: 0115 844 0011
There are other ways you can help someone struggling with fuel poverty or to heat their home:
- reduce their energy bills - suggest they contact their energy supplier to check they are on the best tariff or visit the uSwitch website to switch to a cheaper provider
- maximise their income - encourage them to contact Age UK or Citizens Advice for support with benefits. If they are our tenant they can contact us to discuss their situation
- improve the energy efficiency of the property - encourage them to buy draft excluders, energy efficient appliances. Suggest that they bleed radiators and show them how to use heating controls. Visit the new government site for Simple Energy Advice
- keep them safe - you could encourage that they buy a smoke and or carbon monoxide detector or arrange a visit from a community fire officer if the property is at risk of fire
- keep them well - encourage them to make a GP appointment if their home is affecting their health; suggest they get the flu jab. Check they have warm clothing and enough medication Find a food bank if they are going without food to pay bills.
If the person still needs some help they can contact:
- home owners should contact DFG: 01623 457036
- private rented sector tenants: 01623 457345
- our tenants should contact: 01623 457999.