DERBYSHIRE SNOW: Fire and rescue service advice on how to stay safe

Heavy snow is expected in Derbyshire this weekend
Heavy snow is expected in Derbyshire this weekend

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is reminding people to take extra care this weekend, with heavy snow expected to hit the county.

The Met Office has issued an Amber Warning for Derbyshire ahead of the weekend, with heavy snow set to fall upon the county.

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Group Manager Steve Ratcliffe said: “Winter is a lovely time of year and snow certainly can be enjoyable for children, but it can also prove to be a dangerous time for people such as elderly relatives and neighbours, so please check on them wherever possible.”

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Staying warm in the home safely is very important, so to help you prepare and deal with severe cold weather and snow at home, please take a moment to read through the following advice:

* Make sure you know where the stop-cock is for your water supply in case you have a burst pipe. If you do have a burst pipe, turn your water supply off first before calling for help.

* Always use a fire guard to protect an open fire against flying sparks and hot embers and make sure embers are put out before you go out or go to bed.

* If you use a blanket or throw over to keep warm, always remember to keep them away from open fires and heaters. Some materials can catch fire very easily. It is safer to use natural fibres like wool for blankets as they are more resistant to flames and sparks.

* If you use an electric blanket to keep warm during cold nights, don't use a hot water bottle in the same bed, even if the blanket is switched off.

* Unplug electric blankets before you go to bed unless it has a thermostat for safe all-night use.

* Take extra care with portable heaters - don't dry clothes on them or put them too close to soft furnishings.

* If using candles, take care with them. Only use the proper holders and don't use tea lights unless they are standing in a holder or on a saucer.

* Remember that Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service might not be able to get to you as quickly as usual in severe weather, so be extra vigilant against fire in the home. Check that smoke alarms work and don't use chip pans.

* Make sure your central heating system is regularly serviced and you are not at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

* If you are on any prescribed medicine, make sure you have enough supplies.

* Make sure you have enough food in the house, especially tinned and dried products.

* Make sure you have adequate supplies of fuel and, if you have an open fire, make sure the chimney is swept regularly.

* Plan your escape route in case of a fire.

In heavy snow and severe cold weather the best advice is to avoid travelling if at all possible, however if you have to travel, the following tips should help you to reach your destination safely:

* Get your vehicle serviced. That way you know it won't let you down even if the weather does.

* Keep the cold out of your vehicle by checking and replacing the anti-freeze in the radiator.

* Most batteries last between two and four years. Make sure yours is fully charged and replace it if you're not sure it's reliable.

* Lights can get filthy with all the spray in winter. Keep them clean and check the bulbs regularly so you'll be prepared for lower visibility and shorter days.

* Getting a better grip on the road takes more tyre tread in wet or icy conditions. Ensure your tyres are inflated to the manufacturers' recommended pressure and have at least 3mm of tread depth.

* Make sure your wiper blades aren't worn so you can keep your windscreen as clean as possible for the extra spray, ice and rain you get in winter.

* Dirty windows and mirrors can make it hard to see as the low winter sun hits. Make sure you keep them clean and free of ice and snow in colder weather. And it goes without saying that your windows are clear and de-misted before you set off!

* Finally, don't forget to take a map with you for any unplanned diversions.

* Take an emergency kit in the car with you, this should comprise of, an ice scraper and de-icer, a touch, warm clothes and a blanket, a pair of boots, a first-aid kit, battery powered jump leads, a shovel and food and drink.