When it’s cold, slippery and wet outside, you might think there’s nowhere safer than indoors, in the warmth, with the radiator on and a cup of tea in your hands. However, while the home might be far safer than the roads when the temperature drops below zero, there are still a number of dangers in the average UK house, some of which only become particularly apparent in bad weather.
As part of its aim to improve the welfare of people across the country, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has issued the following home safety advice:
- Gas boilers, gas fires and other fuel-burning home appliances work overtime in the winter, so consider the warning signs of carbon monoxide and know what to do if someone has carbon monoxide poisoning. Every year, around 11 people die as a result of the carbon monoxide produced by poorly installed and maintained flues and boilers.
- Elderly people are at a particular risk of hypothermia during cold weather. Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops below 35 degrees C. To keep body temperatures above this level, wear several layers of thin clothes, eat properly, drink hot drinks regularly, and move about occasionally.
Clearing ice and snow
When clearing ice and snow, RoSPA recommends that you remember two key points:
- Do not make conditions more dangerous. For example, do not pour boiling water on the pavement and simply walk away – this will create a sheer icy surface that will be more dangerous than the surrounding area.
- Do a good job, and keep on top of things by responding to changing conditions. You may have to deal with the same area multiple times.
- Do not expect every part of the street to be clear of dangerous ice, and take your own precautions to avoid slips, trips and falls.
We at 247 Home Rescue would also remind you – if you have to defrost a frozen pipe, do not use a blowtorch, lighter or any other open flame. Instead, please use a hot water bottle, a heat wrap, or a similar device.
To stay safe from all home emergencies, boiler breakdowns and electrical appliance problems 24/7, take out our complete cover packages! We’re also more than happy to tailor your service plan to your particular recommendations – just get in touch to let us know what you want.