Updated: Mar 7, 2022
Winter is a time of dark evenings, cold weather, frost, ice and snow. It can be beautiful, but it can also present hazards we don’t encounter in warmer months. It’s good to be informed, so here are some quick tips to help you stay safe this winter.
The best way to reduce your risk is to be prepared for the winter weather. Whether you’re staying home, travelling by foot or by car, plan ahead to make sure you stay safe.
Make sure your gas and electricity meters are kept topped up if you have a key or card meter so you don’t run out when it’s really cold and treacherous outside.
Check your smoke alarm & carbon monoxide alarms are working - Christmas brings additional fire hazards and we use more gas to heat our homes.
Be mindful of candles and open fires. Always put them out before you leave the house or go to bed, and don’t put them near curtains or piles of presents.
Travelling by foot
If the pavements are covered in snow and ice, avoid unnecessary outings.
If you do venture out in adverse conditions, wear sturdy footwear, and dress warmly.
Allow extra time for your journey so you don’t have to rush.
Take a torch and wear high visibility clothing or accessories if you will be out in the dark.
Use grit bins where provided for public areas, but be sparing so there is enough for others.
Slips, trips and falls are the most common type of accident in the UK, and when pavements are icy the risk increases. Although most most only result in a minor bruise, it can be more serious. According to NHS data, from March 2012 - February 2013 there were over 6000 visits to A&E for falls involving snow and ice.
Travelling by car
Check weather and news reports before you set off. If the emergency services advise you not to travel, make every effort to avoid or delay the trip.
If your journey is unavoidable, ensure your car is in good repair and topped up with fuel, oil, screen wash & antifreeze. Plan alternative routes in case your main route is blocked.
Remove all snow, ice and mist from your car, windscreen, mirrors and windows. Put the heating on before you set off so your windscreen stays clear.
Carry an emergency kit in your car including first aid supplies, emergency snacks and a drink, waterproof boots, warm clothes and blankets, a torch, warning triangle & tow rope.
Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged!
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