With reports of winds from Siberia bringing increasingly cold conditions and the potential for snowfall to the UK next week, we are urging residents to take care when trying to stay warm or when travelling.
Group Manager, Tregear Thomas, said: “The temperature is reported to be significantly dropping over the coming days and into next week.
“With this in mind, residents trying to warm up may be tempted to use portable heaters or electric blankets but should always be mindful that if not used correctly, they can pose an increased risk of fire.
“We want to encourage our residents to follow our safety advice to help prevent an incident from occurring in the first place, whether that be in the home or when travelling.”
Top tips to prevent incidents occurring in the home:
- Ensure you have working smoke alarms fitted on every floor of your home.
- Be prepared by making a plan of escape, ensuring everyone in the property is aware of what to do in the event of a fire.
- Be careful when using open fires to keep warm – make sure you always use a fireguard to protect against flying sparks.
- Make sure hot embers are under control and properly extinguished before going to bed or leaving the property.
- Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained.
- Always unplug electric heaters when going to bed or leaving the property.
- Try to secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over.
- Keep heaters away from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
- Only use gas or paraffin heaters in well-ventilated areas and always have in place a carbon monoxide detector.
- Never use hot water bottles in the same bed as an electric blanket, even if switched off.
- Always unplug electric blankets before going to bed, unless it has a thermostat control for safe all night use.
- In the event of a fire, always remember to get out, stay out and call 999.
Top tips to prevent incidents occurring when travelling or in the event of a breakdown or emergency:
Before making your journey:
- Consider whether your journey is absolutely necessary and only travel if it is essential.
- Check local TV, radio and internet for weather and traffic reports before travelling.
- Pack plenty of warm clothing and drinks in your vehicle, including hot drinks in a flask, if possible.
- It is useful to have a red reflective warning triangle in the vehicle in the event of a breakdown.
- Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged, but DO NOT use it whilst driving.
- Make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and in good working order.
- Make sure the brakes are in good order and checked regularly.
- Make sure the heater and demisting system in the vehicle is in good working order.
- Make sure your car is fuelled and that oil, brake fluid and windscreen washer levels are full.
- High winds can affect the handling of your vehicle and sudden gusts can happen without warning – keep a good grip on the steering wheel and take great care when overtaking high sided vehicles.
- Driving in adverse weather conditions can be stressful and tiring – if you feel tired, take a break.
- Allow more time for braking in snow, icy and rainy conditions.
- Allow more room between yourself and other vehicles – this will give you greater braking times and distances.
- In an emergency, always call 999.