Check on older friends and family this winter

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is continuing to offer free winter fire safety advice to ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities are safe and well towards the end of the winter season.

As part of its annual winter safety campaign the Service is working with Public Health England as well as providing seasonal fire safety advice.

Winter conditions can have a serious impact on health, particularly for people aged 65 or older and those with long-term conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes, heart or kidney disease.

Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. The cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can all aggravate any existing health problems and make us more vulnerable to respiratory winter illnesses.

AF&RS Group Manager Steve Quinton said: “It’s important people can stay warm and well during the winter, so we would ask everyone to check on an older friend or relative to see if you can provide any help.

“Avon Fire & Rescue Service provides free Home Fire Safety Visits and also offers advice on where else a resident may be able to receive help to ensure they are comfortable and safe at home.

“As well as the negative impact on health during the winter, we also see an increase in the number of house fires we are called to. You can reduce risk by ensuring you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your property – and these are provided free during our Home Fire Safety Visits.

Tips to stay safe this winter

  • Unplug chargers and other appliances not in use
  • Use a fire guard on open fires
  • Never leave candles burning unattended
  • If your electric blanket is more than three years old, make sure it is tested every year
  • Get your chimney swept regularly to avoid a build-up of soot which could catch fire
  • Make sure furnishings are kept well away from all heaters and fires

Stay well advice

  • Have a flu jab; available for free to anybody over 65, people with long term health conditions and their carers, children between the age of two and four years and pregnant women.
  • Visit your local pharmacy at the first signs of illness
  • Stock up ahead of the cold weather with food and other essential supplies and get your prescriptions filled

For more information about Public Health England’s stay well this winter campaign visit

For more winter safety advice visit

To book a free Home Fire Safety Visit, visit call 0117 926 2061 or text VISIT to 07507 319 694.