Stay warm, well and safe this winter
Follow our winter safety advice to keep your family safe, warm and healthy during the cold weather.
Warm Spaces - are somewhere you can go to get warm, stay warm and enjoy a little company. In some, you'll also be able to get refreshments.
With many people feeling the pressure because of increased energy costs and the rising cost of living, our Warm Spaces network aims to support residents across County Durham this winter. Our Warm Spaces are free and will let you stay for as long, or for as short a period as you wish (within their opening hours).
Find out more at Warm spaces
- Visit the NHS: Stay well this winter website for information to keep you and your family healthy during the winter period.
- See our Disruptions, closures and warnings page for the latest information about weather warnings, disruptions and closures across our county.
- See Met Office: Are you weather ready? for advice on travel, your home and health during cold and wet weather conditions.
Keep warm and well
- Have a supply of your prescription drugs and other medicine. You can order your repeat prescriptions online. To sign up to GP online services ask at your practice or visit NHS: Start using online services.
- Have a week's worth of food supplies, including bread in the freezer, long-life milk and non-cook foods. If you live far from other people, have more supplies on hand.
- Keep an 'In Case of Emergency' record of who to call and let them know they are your emergency contact.
- Consider Care Connect - our community alarm service, our 24 hour emergency contact alarm service that can help you to call for assistance if you have an accident or fall at home. They help you feel safer at home, and remain independent for longer, giving peace of mind to your family and friends.
- Stay active - keep moving, even if you're sitting down. Just wiggling your fingers and toes will help you keep warm. Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so indoors - get up and stretch your legs.
- Eat well - make sure you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day to keep your body warm.
- Catch it, bin it, kill it - stop the spread of germs. Use a tissue and wash your hands thoroughly.
Stay safe and warm outdoors
- Dress for the weather and wear several layers of loose-fitting clothing.
- Well-fitting boots and shoes with a good grip are the most effective way to stay warm and prevent a fall.
- Use a walking aid if it helps you stay steady and safe.
- Always be careful when driving in snow and ice.
Look out for your neighbours
- Look after elderly or vulnerable friends and neighbours. If you are worried about someone call Social Care Direct.
- Hypothermia is a danger in cold weather. Look after elderly and vulnerable people, make sure they are heating their house correctly. If you think someone has hypothermia, call 999 for an ambulance immediately.
Keep your home safe and warm
- Check if you qualify for a grant to have a boiler replacement, insulation or other energy saving measures installed. Find out more - see our Help with your heating and energy bills information.
- Contact your energy supplier and make sure you are on the right energy tariff.
- Get a supply of blankets to keep you warm in case the heating goes off.
- Have salt/grit/cat litter for driveways and paths, a snow shovel and other snow removal equipment. See our Salt bins information to find out where your nearest salt bin is.
- Try and keep your heating to a constant temperature of between 18°C and 21°C during the day and at least 18°C at night.
- Keep bedroom windows closed, breathing cold air can increase the risk of getting a chest infection.
- Think about other ways of keeping warm like closing the curtains, hot water bottles or electric blankets.
- Keep a water supply in case a pipe bursts. Follow Northumbrian Water's beat the freeze advice to avoid burst water pipes, and know where to turn off your water.