Seasonal winter

Tips on staying safe in winter and how to keep warm during cold weather. Latest road gritting and snow clearing information in Suffolk and taking care outdoors.

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.

For further information:

We work with:

Protecting you

To stay protected:

  • get vaccinated against Covid-19 and seasonal flu
  • 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 the spread of norovirus
  • check NHS: Five ways to stay healthy this winter for health guidance

Suffolk Warm Homes Healthy People helps vulnerable people and families make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat. The service can help in several 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 the rooms you use in the day
  • If you cannot 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 will not 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: Keep warm keep well.

Tips for looking after your health and wellbeing:

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 do not have one, check if you're eligible for free alarms
  • when using open fires, make sure you always use a fireguard 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 from 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

Keeping warm this winter

For advice on keeping warm and well this winter, call the Winter Warmth Advice Line free on 0800 678 1602, 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.

Checking the welfare of vulnerable people

If you have an elderly, vulnerable neighbour or a relative, please look out for them in the winter months. They may need help with shopping, clearing paths, walking a dog or to see a friendly face.

Check to see if the curtains are not opened during the day, or there are no lights on in the evening, as 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.

Are you concerned about your welfare, or the welfare of someone else?

If you have concerns about somebody who you have not seen for a while and you have not been able to contact them, get in touch with your local police force on 101.

If you have immediate concerns around your own health or welfare, or somebody else's, please call 999.

If you feel that yourself, or somebody you know, is struggling to maintain their personal care, then there may be support from adult care services.

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. 

Do not be put off clearing paths because you're afraid someone will get injured. Remember, people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves.

The government gives advice about clearing snow from a road, path or cycleway.


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 off dirt, the 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

Suffolk Constabulary has more information about driving in bad weather.