Get ready for winter
We want to make sure you stay safe and well this winter.
We'll do all we can to maintain essential services such as home care and support services for older, disabled and vulnerable people who usually receive our catering service.
And we'll be working around the clock together with other organisations including the NHS and voluntary groups to make sure help reaches the people who need it the most.
But there are a few simple steps you can take yourself and to help others. You could be a 'snow buddy' during winter months - checking on elderly and disabled neighbours and relatives to make sure they're ok with enough heat and food. And you can also help by clearing snow and ice from paths and driveways so care services can reach people who need help.
Here are some hints on how to keep warm and safe in the winter weather.
Check you have well-gripping shoes to prevent falls in cold weather; wear several layers of clothes to stay warm; and remain active in your home.
Have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day. Eating regularly helps keep energy levels up during winter.
Warm your bed and bedroom before turning in for the night. Your bedroom should be kept above 18c overnight.
Keep plenty of food in your cupboards and stock up on supplies such as heating oil if you use it.
Check you have had your flu jab if you are aged 65 or over, pregnant, have certain medical conditions, live in a residential or nursing home, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you or someone you look after has an adequate supply of any prescription medicines.
If you use an electric blanket, have it serviced at least every three years.
Make sure central heating boilers are serviced regularly, chimneys are swept regularly if you have an open fire and paraffin heaters are thoroughly cleaned with the wick checked and trimmed.
Be especially aware of fire safety - particularly if you are planning to use portable heaters, open fires or stoves. Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarms and test them every week.
Maintain portable gas heaters and check electric fires are fitted with the right fuse and don't have frayed or damaged cables.
Check portable heaters have a safety guard and don't place them near furniture, beds or curtains.
Look out for neighbours. If you have an older person as a neighbour or a relative, look out for them in the winter months to ensure they have enough heat, food and any necessary medication
Keep an eye out for bogus officials who may call door-to-door without an appointment claiming to be from heating supply or other companies checking for problems caused by the cold weather. Always check the identity of callers to your home and if in doubt call the police
Walkers and dog-owners - don't walk on ice-covered lakes, ponds or rivers. If you see a person or animal fall through the ice don't try and rescue them - call 999 immediately and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service
Warn children about the dangers of open water and ice. Even a short exposure to freezing water can be fatal
Our highways team offers general advice on staying safe on the roads during bad weather:
In icy conditions slow down, steer gently and avoid harsh braking
Check your lights are working and your windscreen washer is full
If going on a long journey take a shovel, torch, boots, warm clothing, food and a hot drink and charged mobile telephone
Winter Fuel Payments of up to £200 are available if you were born on or before 5 January 1951. Most people will receive this money automatically but to find out more call 08 459 15 15 15 or visit www.direct.gov.uk/winterfuel (opens in a new window)
Cold weather is especially dangerous for older people or people with serious illnesses. If you are concerned about anyone please Call Derbyshire on 08 456 058 058 or 01629 533190. In an emergency call 999.
For more information about how to help keep safe and warm this winter visit www.derbyshire-fire-service.co.uk (opens in a new window), information from the NHS (opens in a new window) or www.derbyshire.police.uk (opens in a new window)
Keep an eye out for bogus officials who may call door-to-door without an appointment claiming to be from heating supply or other companies checking for problems caused by the cold weather. Always check the identity of callers to your home and if in doubt call the police.
There are steps you can take to protect your property this winter. You can find legitimate traders such as plumbers to fix burst water pipes visit on our list of Trusted Traders (opens in a new window) or by contacting Call Derbyshire on 08 456 058 058 or 01629 5336190.
Community oil buying scheme
Rural Action Derbyshire operate a community oil buying scheme that provides people who use oil to heat their house with the opportunity to obtain it at a lower price. This scheme operates across Derbyshire and is open to individuals and businesses.
For a limited period, until 31 March 2012, we are providing funding to the scheme so that they can offer a year's free membership to older and vulnerable households. For further information visit the Rural Action Derbyshire website (opens in a new window) or phone them on 01629 824797.