When the temperature drops, it's important to take steps to keep yourself warm, both in the home and when you go out.

Cold weather can be particularly dangerous if you have breathing problems, reduced mobility, a low immune system or circulatory conditions. Illnesses like colds and flu are also more common during the winter months as it's easier for the germs to move in cold air.

And if you get too cold for too long, you could suffer from hypothermia, which is when your body starts to shut down to save heat.

If you feel cold or can't afford to heat your home ask for help - you may be entitled to help with your heating costs.

Visit our cost of living support page for more information and a helpline number to call if you want to speak to someone.

Keep yourself warm

Wrap up against the cold by wearing suitable clothing. It's better to wear several thin layers like several t-shirts or light cardigans, rather than one thick coat or jumper, as the layers will trap warm air close to the body

A lot of heat is lost through the head and neck, so if you're chilly indoors, try wearing a hat and scarf - you may feel silly but you will be warm!

If you're sitting down, a shawl or blanket will provide extra warmth. You should also try to keep your feet up, because air is cooler at ground level

Wear warm clothes in bed. Fleecy pyjamas or 'onesies' (one-piece full-body garments) are a good choice. When it's really cold, wear thermal underwear, bed socks - and even a hat if you like!

If you're able to move about, gentle exercise will help you to feel warmer and improve your circulation

Electric blankets, hot water bottles and microwaveable heat packs can be helpful, but remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and don't overheat them or use them for long periods, to avoid the risk of burns. And don't use a hot water bottle and an electric blanket at the same time

Stay tuned to the weather forecast. Ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance (have deliveries or ask a friend to help)

Make sure you have regular hot meals that contain carbohydrates such as potatoes, pasta, bread and rice. Hot porridge for breakfast and warm soups, casseroles or stews are deliciously warming in cold weather

Keeping your home warm

Check room temperatures. If you or someone else is likely to be restricted to one room during the winter period or during a cold spell, make sure that it can be kept at or above 21°C during the day and 18°C during the night.

The cost of heating always seems to be rising, so do make sure you use your heating to maximum effect - if it isn't working efficiently, you could be wasting energy and still not staying warm enough. Have your heating system serviced regularly.

Get a keyhole cover - it should only cost a couple of pounds and will help keep the draughts out in cold weather.

Shut doors to keep heat in the rooms you use the most.

Use draught excluders to cover gaps at the bottom of doors. These can be strips that attach to the bottom of the door, or a stuffed fabric tube. You could also use an old blanket.

If you can, fit thermal linings to your curtains - this will help to keep the heat in.

Don't put furniture in front of a radiator as the heat will be wasted.

Making sure your home is well-insulated will make it easier and cheaper to heat your home efficiently. Consider cavity wall insulation or loft insulation.

The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme could help you make energy-saving improvements to your home or business. This is more easily explained on the Money Saving Experts website.

Draw your curtains as soon as it gets dark to stop the heat from escaping and the draughts from coming in.

Keep any windows and external doors closed when it's cold - this will keep heat inside, where you most need it.

Have a look at the Energy Saving Trust website for lots of ideas on how to save energy.

Warm hubs

To help support residents this winter we’re opening warm hubs across the borough.

Each warm hub is a free, safe, warm space where residents of all ages can sit, socialise, enjoy a hot drink and take part in different activities. Everyone is welcome.

Find out more about warm hubs in Hammersmith & Fulham.

Take care when out and about

When you're going outside in cold weather, make sure you dress suitably. Warm gloves, a hat and thermal socks are important

Wear shoes or boots with deep treads/grips when there is ice and snow around, to reduce the risk of slipping. You can also get metal grips which you attach to your shoes to make it easier to walk in snow and ice

Carry an umbrella in case of rain or snow - getting wet will make you feel much colder

Discuss with friends and neighbours about clearing snow and ice from the front of your house and public walkways nearby, if you are unable to do this yourself.

If you're worried about falling, try to avoid going out in icy weather. Friendly neighbours may be able to help with your shopping and other errands, or you could consider shopping online to get your groceries delivered instead of going to the supermarket.

Look out for other people

Most of us can wrap up warm and cope when the weather gets colder. But try to think about how the cold weather might be affecting people around you.

Maintain regular contact with vulnerable people and neighbours you know to be at risk in cold weather. Ensure they have access to warm food and drinks and are managing to heat their home adequately.

Other information and advice

Visit our energy efficiency and warm homes page for advice on how you can save money on your gas, electricity and water bills.

The government has published tips for staying warm and well this winter.

Have a look at the Energy Saving Trust website for lots of ideas on how to save energy.


The Independent Age website provides a guide called Winter Wise which has practical tips on staying warm and healthy in the winter months, including information on Winter Fuel Payments, so you can be prepared for the cold weather.

Age UK have advice on staying healthy during the winter, and a leaflet called Winter Wrapped Up

The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme could help you make energy-saving improvements to your home or business. This is more easily explained on the Money Saving Experts website.

If you are particularly vulnerable during cold weather because of health problems or a disability then you can apply to go on the Priority Services Register which will ensure you receive special attention in the event of a power cut in your area.

Apply for the Priority Services Register

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