Make sure your Harlow home is ready for winter

Communities / Fri 11th Dec 2015 at 05:14pm

ESSEX County Council is stressing the importance of making sure people’s homes are ready for winter and to keep warm when temperatures drop.

Cold homes have a significant impact on people’s health and one of the best ways of keeping well during winter is to stay warm. Every winter in the UK, one older person dies needlessly every seven minutes.

Dr Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health at Essex County Council, said:

“Older people tend to be less active, spend more time indoors and have reduced muscle and body fat to help insulate them from the cold.

“This increases the likelihood of a heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, and other chest diseases”
“To reduce this risk, it is important to keep your home warm. This means 21 degrees Celsius in the living room and at least 16 degrees in the rest of the house.

Many people worry about the cost of heating, but with the advice following last week’s Essex Energy Switch launch, people can be confident that when they turn up the heating, they are still getting value for money.

The collective energy switching initiative is for people who want to cut their energy bills. It’s a free, easy and secure way to cut energy bills without wasting time comparing prices on comparison sites and last year residents saved approximately £263 per household.

Cllr Anne Brown, Cabinet Member for Communities and Healthy Living, added:
“It’s unacceptable that people die from the cold. I would ask everyone to make sure their home is well insulated, and that their boiler is serviced.

“Being informed about these things is so important. This includes things like what the best energy tariff might be for you, as I know heating costs are a concern for many.

“As well as signing up to our local Essex Energy Switch scheme, it’s also important to ensure you’re receiving all the relevant winter payments.

Dr Gogarty added: “It’s the festive season, so we also urge people to spread the good spirit and look out for elderly or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours, for whom keeping warm this winter could be a matter of life or death. Check to see if they have stocks of food and enough medicines so that they don’t need to go out in really bad weather, and when the weather is milder encourage them to stay active and wrap up well when they go out.”

For more information about winter payment support visit https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment/overview and for more information on Essex Energy Switch visit www.essex.gov.uk/energyswitch

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