We know just how important it is for our elderly and vulnerable customers to stay safe, well and warm through the colder months. So follow our simple advice:
Don’t put your health at risk
A drop in body temperature can be bad for your health. If you stay cold for too long, your body’s resistance can drop, increasing the risk of colds, flu, chest infections and in severe cases, hypothermia.
Hypothermia can be hard to detect. Watch out for slurred speech, drowsiness and cold skin. If in doubt, have a warm drink (non alcoholic), turn up your heating gradually and put on another layer of clothes. If you’re concerned about hypothermia call your doctor.
If you have any concerns about your health visit NHS direct And for anyone aged 65 and over, don’t forget about the free flu jab.
Keep warm and stay well
The best way to combat winter health risks is to stay warm. Ideally, room temperature in your home should be around 21C (70F).
We can also advise you on ways to stay warm, save energy and save money. Call our Priority Services team free on 0800 068 8251†.
Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
When fossil fuels like coal and gas do not burn properly they produce carbon monoxide – an invisible, highly toxic gas that can poison and eventually kill people without them even knowing it.
To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, make sure appliances like gas heaters, cookers, boilers and chimneys are serviced regularly. You can also purchase carbon monoxide alarms to fit around your home.
If you’re concerned about carbon monoxide or think you have a gas leak call the National Grid Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999†.
More information on ways to improve gas safety in your home and what to do in an emergency can be found in our Gas Safety information booklet*. This is available in standard or large print, Braille and Audio format.
Stay safe around gas
Customers on means tested benefits may be entitled to a free gas safety check from their energy supplier if they:
• Are of pensionable age, disabled or chronically sick and either live alone or with others who are all of pensionable age, disabled, chronically sick or under 18 or
• Are living with others where at least one is under 5 years old and
• Have not had a gas safety check carried out at the premises in the last 12 months and
• Do not occupy premises where a landlord is responsible for arranging a check under regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work Act
There are an estimated 7,500 illegal gas fitters. In the right hands, gas is perfectly safe, but in the hands of an illegal gas fitter it can kill. It’s important you protect yourself.
• Always ask for and check the engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card to make sure they are qualified to do the work
• Report suspected illegal gas workers to Gas Safe Register.
For more advice on avoiding illegal gas workers call 0800 408 5500†. Or visit: Gas Safety Register
Keep your prepayment meter topped up
If you have a prepayment meter make sure your card or key is charged up with enough money to see you through any unexpected cold snaps that might stop you getting to a PayPoint.
To find your local PayPoint outlets, visit our PayPoint Location Finder
*If you’re unable to view our PDF booklet/form then please go to Adobe.com and download Adobe Acrobat Reader. It's free of charge and will only take a few minutes to install.