Staying warm at home

Knowing how warm a house is saves lives

Even if you feel ‘warm enough’, if the air you breathe is less than 18C respiratory infections become likely. A major problem at this time of year is people not realising their home is too cold. The NHS give some useful advice (below) and Acticheck have a ‘Cold at home’ warning which can help.

A forest in winter.

NHS England ‘How to stay warm and well in winter gives the following advice:

  • if you’re not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18C [optimal temperature is 21C]
  • keep your bedroom at 18C all night if you can – and keep the bedroom window closed
  • use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but do not use both at the same time
  • have at least 1 hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm
  • have hot drinks regularly
  • draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts
  • get your heating system checked regularly by a qualified professional

Why monitor?

People don’t always realise when they are getting too cold and so the Acticheck ‘cold at home’ warning indicates when there might be a problem. It could be the thermostat needs adjusting or there is a problem with the boiler. If the wearer is at home and the temperature is too low their responders will get an email. In addition, by enabling the ‘frost monitor’, the wearer and all responders will receive a warning email if the temperature falls below 5C when the wearer is not at home.

How to make use of the Acticheck ‘Cold at home alert’

  1. Go to MY BASE and then look at the bottom right of the screen (see below),
  2. Turn the ‘Enable room temperature monitor’ on,
  3. Set your minimum temperature*,
  4. Set the time window to be monitored,
  5. Then press Save (top right).

Settings for Cold at home

*Bear in mind the base station reports on its ambient temperature and you may need to make adjustments if it is not representative of the general household level. You can see the general temperature trend on the chart in MY BASE.

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If you know something is wrong then please contact an expert immediately.

Your doctor can help with medical problems, or if you are in an emotional crisis you could contact the Samaritans. You can call them free from any phone on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or you may have a branch near you that you can visit (see www.samaritans.org/branches).

If the cause of your crisis is feeling overwhelmed by a financial or legal issue then they may suggest a local legal centre or the Citizens Advice Bureau as a good first step to solving your issues.

There is a Spanish phrase that says ‘Where there is a will, there are many ways’. Just because what you have tried so far has not worked does not mean there is nothing else to try and these people are expert at finding the right solution in a crisis, and they care.