Lancashire residents are being urged to check on vulnerable neighbours and relatives during colder months.
The warning comes after 870 excess winter deaths were recorded in Lancashire during 2016/17 – the latest figures available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
OFTEC – the trade association for oil and renewable heating technologies – is encouraging people to regularly check on older relatives and friends to ensure they are taking care of themselves.
It suggests ensuring main rooms are heated to at least 21 degrees Celsius, with other commonly used rooms kept at least 18 degrees Celsius.
Make sure heating comes on at the correct time and check that nothing is blocking radiators as this reduces effectiveness
If you use heating oil, make sure there is plenty of oil in the tank and check boilers have recently been serviced by a registered technician.
Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, said: “With a high number of older and vulnerable people living in rural areas , it is more important than ever that we look out for our relatives, friends and neighbours to check they are keeping warm and their heating system is working correctly. This could be a regular visit or phone call to make sure they are okay.”
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has launched a campaign targeting those vulnerable homes which may find it difficult to keep warm throughout the winter months.
People can find themselves living in a cold home for many reasons and it isn’t always a financial one.
It could be broken or complicated heating equipment, poor insulation, that their property is in a poor state of repair or even their personal misconceptions about the impact cold has on you.
Whatever the reason, the cold hard fact remains that living in a cold home isn’t just uncomfortable it can make underlying health problems worse and increase fire risk.
Ideally homes should be around 18°C and as part of this year’s campaign the Service are giving away Safe, Warm and Well cards which include fire safety information and a thermometer so that people can keep an eye on the temperature.
Jane Williams, prevention support manager for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Fuel poverty can affect anyone.
“There is sometimes a belief that it only affects those on low incomes, but in reality that’s just not the case.
“We can help by offering support and fire safety guidance and put them in touch with the right people to get them the right support that they need.”
Get in touch by telephone on 0800 169 11 25 or alternatively online at www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk/home-fire-safety quoting campaign code WS01.