Residents across Tendring are being urged to ensure they are snug and cosy in their homes to help protect their health.
Being too cold can cause serious problems with breathing for those with a bad chest and sitting for long periods in a cold home can put pressure on the heart and blood circulation, a potential cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Older residents who may be frail, or who have existing health conditions, are particularly at risk.
Lynda Mc Williams, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Health and Wellbeing, said: “We are asking everyone to remember the needs of friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk.
“Many people who are particularly vulnerable to the cold, older people, those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and those with young children, are not aware that by not keeping warm they may be putting themselves in danger.
“Heating homes to at least 18C in winter reduces the health risk from cold indoor temperatures, if you are wearing suitable clothing, ideally several thin layers. Temperatures can be set on a timer so that rooms that you spend most time in are heated when they need to be. This will help keep costs down.
“If you have reduced mobility, are over 65, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, then having room temperatures slightly higher than 18C could be good for your health.
“If you are a healthy adult, who is active in the home and wearing appropriate clothing, you may wish to heat your home to a temperature at which you are comfortable, even if it is lower than 18C.”
Cllr McWilliams added that Tendring has a larger elderly population than any other part of Essex.
Top advice to keep snug, warm and well this winter:
- Don’t put off getting the flu vaccination. If you’re eligible get it now. It’s free because you need it.
- Look out for friends, relatives and neighbours who may be vulnerable to the cold.
- Stay tuned to the weather forecast and plan ahead with supplies.
- If you meet the criteria register for priority service with your energy and water suppliers.
- Have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day and keep active to help you stay warm.
- Get financial support to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills.
- Have your heating and cooking appliances checked regularly.
- Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer, and when you need to go outside wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles.