RESIDENTS across Warwickshire are urged to be careful as freezing temperatures are expected this week.
With colder weather forecast over the coming days, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking residents to prioritise safety for both their well-being and the well-being of others.
Anticipating temperatures dropping below freezing, there is an increased risk of ice, making driving more challenging. Drivers are advised to exercise caution and drive to the weather conditions, as stopping distances on icy roads can be ten times greater than on dry roads.
It’s also important to keep warm as the temperatures drop, but not at the expense of safety. Anyone with an electric blanket should make sure it is in full working order before use and there’s no signs of damage such as frayed cables or scorch marks.
For those relying on open fires for warmth, the installation of a fire guard is recommended to prevent sparks from hot embers. Electric heaters should be kept away from curtains and flammable materials and should never be used for drying clothes.
During this period of colder weather, check in with elderly or vulnerable family members or neighbours to make sure they are safe and warm. Staying warm is a vital part of keeping well particularly for older people, the young and those with chronic illness.
Health guidelines advise maintaining room temperatures at 18°C to avoid health complications, such as heart problems, hypothermia, or exacerbation of existing medical conditions. However, the escalating costs of energy bills make it challenging for many to adequately heat their homes.
To support those struggling with energy costs or feeling vulnerable, several locations, including libraries, record offices, and community-led warm hubs, are available across the county. Residents are welcome to attend alone or with family and friends to have a safe and warm place to spend time.
Warwickshire County Council’s community safety spokesperson Coun Andy Crump said: “With freezing temperatures around the corner, the safety of our residents is our primary concern. It’s important that we look out for ourselves and others to remain safe, warm, and well.
“As roads become icy, the risk of collisions increases so please drive carefully and don’t forget to leave extra time for your journey.
“Make sure you are keeping yourself safe while warming up your home – make sure chimneys are clean and free of debris, use fireguards to prevent embers sparking out of the fireplace and if you are using electric heaters, keep them away from furniture, curtains, or anything flammable.
“Check in with vulnerable friends and neighbours to make sure they are keeping safe and warm. These small steps can make a big difference to people and ensures that we are all taking the correct precautions in the cold weather.”
For more information about keeping warm in winter visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/keepwarm.