Keep up-to-date with what's happening during winter
The winter season for Suffolk Highways lasts from 1 October to 30 April.
Follow @suff_highways on Twitter for regular updates during winter. (You don't need an Twitter account.)
For further information:
- See up-to-date forecasts and information about winter weather warnings on the Met Office website.
- Visit the severe weather information page on the Suffolk County Council website.
- See the Met Office’s Get Ready for Winter tips and advice pages.
We work with:
To stay protected:
- get vaccinated against seasonal flu if you're eligible
- check weather forecasts and take this into account when planning your day
- check you have shoes with good grip, to prevent falls in cold weather
- wear several layers of clothes to stay warm
- remain active in your home and limit going outside unless it is necessary
- good hand hygiene can help prevent spread of norovirus
- check NHS Choices for health and guidance on winter ailments (flu, winter vomiting, cold temperatures)
Suffolk Warm Homes Healthy People helps vulnerable people and families make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat. The service can help in a number of ways:
- Help with your fuel payments
- Lend you electric heaters
- Assess you for financial assistance towards the cost of repairs or replacements if your boiler or heater stops working
- Discuss energy efficiency improvements that could make a real difference to your heating bills
- Help you to access grants to help pay for insulation and basic draught proofing
Tips for staying warm in your home:
- Set your thermostat at around 18-21C and heat all rooms you use in the day
- If you can't heat all your rooms, make sure you keep your main living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed
- In very cold weather, rather than turn the thermostat up, set the heating to come on earlier so you won't be cold while you wait for your home to heat up
- Have regular meals, including plenty of hot food and drinks, keeping your diet as varied as possible
- During the night try to keep the temperature above 18C in your bedroom
- Find more information from NHS: Very cold weather.
Protecting your home
To protect your home:
- check that pipes are adequately lagged and know where your stop tap is located
- check that your heating is serviced and cooking appliances in your home are working correctly
- check that you have ordered your winter heating fuel
- find out if you are entitled to grants and subsidies for home heating insulation
- check your smoke alarm. If you don't have one, get one for free by signing up to a home fire safety check
- when using open fires, make sure you always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers
- make sure embers are under control and properly put out before you go to bed
- keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained
- keep heaters away from curtains and furniture, never use them for drying clothes and try to secure them against a wall to stop them falling over
- unplug electric heaters and blankets when you go to bed
- only use gas or paraffin heaters in well-ventilated areas. You could suffocate if the room is not properly aired
- never use hot water bottles in the same bed as an electric blanket
- don't leave electric blankets folded as this damages the internal wiring
- electric blankets should be bought new and tested every 3 years. Replace your blanket when it is more than 10 years old
- if you have to use candles or matches always secure them in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire - like curtains
- put candles out completely using a snuffer or water before leaving the room or going to bed
- discuss with family and neighbours how snow and ice might be cleared from in front of your house if you will be unable to do this yourself
More information is available from The Met Office: Protecting your home
Keeping warm this winter
For advice on keeping warm and well this winter, call the Winter Warmth Advice Line free on 0800 085 7000, Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, or textphone 0800 085 7857.
For more general information, see Age UK's "Spread the Warmth" campaign.
Be a good neighbour
Icy roads and snow can often mean that older or more vulnerable people are not able to get out and about.
If you have an elderly, vulnerable neighbour or relative please look out for them in the winter months. They may need help with shopping, clearing paths, walking a dog or just to see a friendly face.
Specifically if the curtains aren't opened during the day, or there are no lights on in the evening, there may be something wrong. Try knocking on the door to see if there's an answer. If not, contact a relative or friend who you think may have a key.
Concerned about your welfare, or the welfare of someone else?
- have concerns about somebody who you haven’t seen for a while and have not been able to contact them, please get in touch with your local police force on 101
- have immediate concerns around your own health or welfare, or somebody else’s, please call 999
- feel that yourself, or somebody you know, is struggling to maintain their personal care, then support may be available from social care services. Read more about contacting Customer First and social care
Clearing snow and ice from pavements
Anyone can clear snow and ice from the pavement outside their home or public spaces to prevent slips and falls. Don't be put off clearing paths because your afraid someone will get injured. Remember, people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves. Find out more at GOV.UK.
Winter weather can deteriorate fast, making driving hazardous. Suffolk Police advise motorists to:
- check the weather forecast before setting off, if bad weather is forecast consider whether your journey is necessary
- top up anti-freeze and screen wash and check for wear and tear on wiper blades
- make sure your battery is fully charged
- keep tyres at the recommended pressures and check you have at least 3 mm of tread
- wipe dirt, spray of headlamps and make sure all bulbs are working
- keep windows clear of snow, frost and condensation before setting off on a journey
- clear snow from the top of the car
- keep the fuel tank topped up and make sure you have enough fuel for your journey
- allow extra time for your journey and drive at a sensible speed
- take a fully charged mobile phone with you and carry a mobile charger and some emergency kit in the car, including a map, jump leads for the car battery, torch, warning triangle, ice scraper, de-icer, first-aid kit and warm clothes
- in severe weather or for a long trip you may want to add a shovel, a pair of boots, a blanket, any medication, food and a hot drink
Find more information at Suffolk Constabulary: Driving conditions in the snow.