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Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service issues warnings and advice during snow and icy conditions

Driving in cold weather conditions:

Please only drive in snow and icy weather if absolutely necessary, planning your journey to allow extra time for defrosting the car, driving slower than usual and keeping to main roads that are more likely to be gritted.

Make sure that your car is packed with the essentials for winter driving, including a blanket, first aid kit, hazard triangle and a torch. In case of a breakdown, switch on your hazard lights and call your breakdown service. In case of an emergency such as a collision, call 999.

When driving, keep at a low speed and a further distance than usual from cars in front. Try to avoid any sudden steering, braking or acceleration. Try to brake slowly in a straight line to avoid skidding. When driving on snow think about pulling off in second gear to limit wheelspin. Avoid stopping on a hill in snow, if possible, as you may struggle to pull off again. When going down hills, use a low gear and try to avoid using the brakes if you can, to avoid skidding.

Keeping warm at home:

Some tips for keeping warm at home in particularly cold weather include making sure there are no draughts around doors and windows, making good use of curtains, rugs and blankets, and getting your boiler serviced regularly.

If you want to use portable or electric heaters, make sure that they are bought from a reputable seller and that they are plugged into the wall socket, not an extension lead. Get a carbon monoxide alarm so that you are alerted if the appliance is releasing toxic and invisible gas.

Your local area might have a number of ‘warm spaces’ that you can visit to keep warm if you are struggling to heat your home all the time. We recommend contacting your local council for a list.




Staying safe around water in winter:

Areas with frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs can be beautiful places to visit during the winter months but many people risk their lives by venturing onto frozen water. Avoid going onto ice as this can be extremely dangerous if the ice breaks.

Teach children not to go out onto ice under any circumstances and keep dogs on leads to prevent them doing so and then risking someone following them. When walking alongside water, keep back from the edge.

If you see someone fall through the ice, stay with them at the water’s edge and call 999 immediately. Do not attempt to rescue them.

If you fall through ice, keep calm and shout for help. If you can, try to pull yourself onto the ice and make your way to the bank.