Firefighter advice during cold snap

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Firefighters are urging people to keep warm and well during the current cold spell, and to look out for friends and neighbours to see if they need a helping hand.

Chris Bailey, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety manager, said: “When we’re not putting out fires and rescuing people, we do a lot of work with police, health and council colleagues to try to make sure our communities are safe.

“This includes providing advice to help people cope with challenging situations, such as difficult weather conditions, and pointing them in the direction of organisations that can give them additional support.

“For example, if firefighters are fitting smoke alarms in someone’s home as part of a fire safety visit, and the occupant also wants information about home security or social services, we can put them in touch with the appropriate organisation for action to be taken.”

If you you would like to book a home safety check, ring 01296 744477 or send an email to the team for more information.

Here are some of Chris’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.

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.

Set your thermostat at around 21ºC (70ºF) and heat all the rooms you use in the day. 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.

Try to keep a temperature of above 18°C (65°F) in your bedroom overnight. 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.