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Winter Health

Buy or check your carbon monoxide alarm

Your heating is likely to be on much more in winter, meaning that there’s more chance of your boiler failing and leaking carbon monoxide. In fact any gas appliance can leak carbon monoxide and without a working alarm you would not be able to tell.

It’s important to have an alarm in every room that has a gas appliance. Even if you don’t have any gas appliances, it’s a good idea to have an alarm because carbon monoxide can seep into your home through the walls. 

Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and tasteless and can poison you or even cause death. 

Symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning appear like flu and food poisoning, and can include:

  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach pain

Long term and higher level exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to more serious symptoms.

The good news is that Humberside Fire and Rescue Service can carry out a 'Safe and Well' visit where they can check your carbon monoxide alarms, advise on how many you need and where they shoul be placed, as well as looking at other areas of wellbeing. 

You should also check that your fire and smoke alarms are in good working order.

Trips and falls

Bad weather and poor lighting can combine to make walking conditions less safe, but there are things you can do to reduce your chance of having a trip or fall this winter.

  • Keep a supply of grit or salt in your home so that you are prepared for when bad weather hits.
  • Clear ice, snow or mud from any outside steps, as these can be particularly hazardous
  • Take care getting in and out of cars, use the seat and door frame for support if you need to.
  • When going out allow plenty of time so that you don’t need to rush on wet, icy or uneven surfaces
  • Wear sturdy, supportive shoes or boots with plenty of grip
  • Take short steps, it gives you more stability.
  • Watch for slippery floors when you enter buildings.
  • If the weather is very bad, consider cancelling your journey.

Be Prepared

Winter weather can bring power outages and make shopping for essentials difficult. It’s a good idea to have a few essentials stocked up, just in case you find yourself sick or stuck indoors at winter.

Consider preparing:

  • A medical kit with first aid equipment and remedies for common winter ailments for coughs, colds and flu.
  • Portable heaters in case you main heating source breaks down
  • A supply of dried food and frozen meals – you can freeze bread and milk, or buy UHT and partially baked bread with a long shelf life.
  • Toiletries and household essentials such as washing tablets
  • Batteries, candles and a torch, but check that it’s working.

You might not be prepared for every eventuality, but you can make sure that you are ready for the most common challenges that come along in winter.

Last reviewed: 02/03/2018

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