Winter Safety from West Devon Borough Council

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November 2023

Stay safe this winter


West Devon Borough Council want you to stay safe and warm this winter

As we enter the coldest months of the year, issues like illnesses, flooding and power cuts can cause unexpected problems. This newsletter provides advice on tackling some of the more likely problems to arise this winter.

Keep an eye on the weather

Snow Weather Warning

With the winter weather being unpredictable, it's important to keep up with the latest weather updates.

The Met Office provide the latest weather updates for where you live. They provide weather warnings when expecting severe weather - you can also follow the Met Office's Facebook and X accounts for the latest updates.

Travel safe

car in snow

In cold weather it's important to take extra precautions when travelling, as winter weather can make driving conditions unpredictable.

Please leave extra time for your journey, to allow for any disruptions. Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the driver in front.

Follow Devon Alert on Facebook and X, and listen to your local radio for travel updates before travelling. National Highways has some good advice on travelling in bad weather.

If you need check your vehicle before heading out this winter, Highways England has produced some handy information to take you through some basic vehicle checks.

Warm spaces

warm spaces

Are you struggling with the heating bills? Consider visiting a warm space this winter to fight off the cold.

Our Warm Spaces page contains information about warm spaces that we know about in West Devon.

Please check with the venue for opening times and details. We try to keep this information as up-to-date as we are able, but specific opening times and days are subject to change.

If you can't make it to a warm space, visit our website for information on fuel, energy and bills that could save you money.

Keep yourself safe while keeping warm

wood burner dog

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have released advice on protecting yourself from chimney fires, following a rise in the number of incidents.

Make sure that you have your chimney swept regularly. Only burn wood that has properly dried out. DO NOT use petrol or paraffin to light your fire - only use kindling and firelighters.

Use a fireguard to avoid sparks catching on flammable materials, such as carpets. Remember to always put fires out before leaving the house or going to bed.

Visit the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service website for more advice.

Know what to do in case of flooding

Rain raindrops puddles

As well as the cold, we often get a lot of rain during the winter months. When the downpours gets heavier, it's important to be aware of what to do if it floods in your area. Please visit the National Flood Forum for advice on how to prepare for a flood and what to do in an emergency.

You can keep up to date on flood warnings by signing up for flood alerts from the Environment Agency.

Make sure you have the correct insurance cover and find out how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies to keep your house safe.

Create an action plan and put together an emergency flood kit - this should include a battery powered radio and a first aid kit.

Be prepared for power cuts

Power cut

As we get deeper into the winter, it's important to be prepared for power cuts that could happen as a result of unpredictable weather and severe storms.

Visit the Energy Networks Association here for information on what to do if you experience a power cut.

It's worth considering what you would do during a power cut before it happens, such as calling 105 to report the power outage to your network operator.

Check in with anyone that might be vulnerable, such as your neighbours.

Make sure your friends and family know what to do in during a power cut too.