Helping yourself and vulnerable people to stay warm.
There is a direct link between cold winter weather and the higher number of deaths, heart attacks and strokes among older people and others in at-risk groups.
Thehas a range of practical tips for keeping warm at home.
Safety is important in all aspects of keeping yourself warm. Care should be taken when using electric blankets or filling hot water bottles. Never use a hot water bottle and an electric blanket together, as this is extremely dangerous and could give you an electric shock.
If you use an electric blanket, make sure it is safe to use by getting it tested every three years.
If you are struggling with your fuel bills or need information on how to keep warm this winter, visit the Better Housing Better Health website for free, impartial advice on:
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If someone has had an accident in their home (for example, fallen and injured themselves) or fallen ill, they may not be able to attract the attention of neighbours, passers-by or people who call at the door.
Always be on the look-out for signs that something might be wrong, especially when the weather is cold. For instance:
It is important to prevent people from becoming cold in the first place. Family, friends and neighbours in the community can look out for those who might be at risk from the cold. Prevention is always easier than cure.
If you are worried about you or someone you knows health and how the home may be affecting it, please go the Better Housing Better Health website for free, impartial advice.
The Health and Wellbeing Strategy (pdf format) for Oxfordshire, includes a section on the impact of cold homes on the health of Oxfordshire residents. The reports to the Health Improvement Board about the work the partners do to reduce fuel poverty. The AWN is made up of district councils and the county council as well as third sector partners, such as CAB, Age UK and the Oxford Diocese.
Local figures can be foundfor fuel poverty and excess winter deaths (EWS).