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Armed Forces Covenant

Cold Weather at Home

To help you prepare and deal with severe cold weather and snow at home read through the advice on this page.

  • Make sure you know where the stop-cock is for your water supply in case you have a burst pipe. If you do have a burst pipe, turn your water supply off first before calling for help.
  • Always use a fire guard to protect an open fire against flying sparks and hot embers and make sure embers are put out before you go out or go to bed.
  • If you use a blanket or throw over to keep warm, always remember to keep them away from open fires and heaters. Some materials can catch fire very easily. It is safer to use natural fibres like wool for blankets as they are more resistant to flames and sparks.
  • If you use an electric blanket to keep warm during cold nights, don't use a hot water bottle in the same bed, even if the blanket is switched off.
  • Unplug electric blankets before you go to bed unless it has a thermostat for safe all-night use.
  • Take extra care with portable heaters - don't dry clothes on them or put them too close to soft furnishings.
  • If using candles, take care with them. Only use the proper holders and don't use tea lights unless they are standing in a holder or on a saucer.
  • Remember that Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service might not be able to get to you as quickly as usual, in severe weather, so be extra vigilant against fire in the home. Check that smoke alarms work and don't use chip pans.
  • Make sure your central heating system is regularly serviced and you are not at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If you are on any prescribed medicine, make sure you have enough supplies.
  • Make sure you have enough food in the house, especially tinned and dried products.
  • Make sure you have adequate supplies of fuel and, if you have an open fire, make sure the chimney is swept regularly.
  • Tune into your local radio station for regular weather updates and travel information.
  • Plan your escape route in case of a fire.

If you are using an open fire to heat your home during cold weather you should also read our Open Fire, Stove and Chimney Safety section.

Before you drive during extreme cold weather or snow

Please read our advice on keeping safe when cold weather driving.

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