How do I stay safe in cold weather?

We want you to be warm and well in your home, below is our advice for keeping warm and well in cold weather.


Hypothermia (when your body temperature falls below normal) is more likely to happen to someone who is elderly or very young and can happen if you are in a temperature of below 6°C (43°F) for 2 hours or more.

Avoiding hypothermia

Here are some simple tips to help you avoid hypothermia.

During the day:

  • Set your heating thermostat to around 21ºC (70ºF) and heat all the rooms you use in the day
  • If you cannot heat all your rooms make sure you keep your living room warm and heat your bedroom before going to bed
  • Set the timer on your heating to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed in very cold weather.

At night:

  • Try to keep a temperature above 18°C (65°F) in your bedroom
  • If you use a fire or heater in your bedroom during winter, open the window or door a little at night for ventilation. An electric blanket or a hot water bottle will help you keep warm but never use them together as you could electrocute yourself
  • Keep your curtains closed.

In general:

  • Use draught excluders around doors and windows but do not block up any air vents
  • Have plenty of hot drinks and food
  • Wear plenty of thin layers, rather than one thick one
  • Put on a coat, hat, scarf, gloves and warm shoes or boots when you go outside
  • Wear clothes made of wool, cotton, or fleecy synthetic fibres
  • Stay warm in bed with bed socks, thermal underwear and a nightcap or headscarf.

What to look out for:

The signs of hypothermia are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • No longer feeling cold even though the room is very cold
  • Very cold skin in areas that are normally covered (stomach and under the armpits).

What to do if someone is suffering from hypothermia:

  • Take action quickly
  • Gradually turn up the heating
  • Use some light blankets to warm them up
  • Give them a warm drink
  • Get medical help.

Visit the Warm and Well website