Snow safety advice for Somerset residents
Mid-Somerset is under a fair few inches of snow, and police are urging motorists to stay off the roads. With 10-15cm of snow is expected fall by the end of today, it's best to stay indoors and stay warm.
Police say that if you do have to drive, slow down and brake, steer and change gear as smoothly as possible to avoid skidding.
Make sure your windscreen is clear and your lights clean and working properly. Check your tyre pressure and your radiator antifreeze levels. It's probably a good idea to carry de-icer, food, a hot flask, a blanket and a shovel as well. You can tune in to local radio and websites for weather and travel reports, plan your route, leave extra time for your journey and, if you're in doubt - then don't set out.
The fire service has also issued safety advice for people who are staying at home, to make sure they stay safe
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If you're using portable heaters to stay warm, make sure they're kept at least one metre away from curtains and furniture, and don't use them to dry clothes. Always unplug electric heaters when you go out or go to bed, make sure you prop them up against a wall to stop them from falling over, and only use gas or paraffin heaters in well ventilated areas.
If you've got an open fire, make sure your chimney and flue is clean and well-maintained. Use a fire guard to protect against sparks and embers, and make sure the fire is properly out before you leave the house or go to bed.
If you're tucked up in bed and using an electric blanket, make sure you don't use a hot water bottle in the same bed as an electric blanket, even if the blanket is switched off. Unplug blankets before you get into bed unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night us, and don't leave electric blankets folded as this may damage the internal wiring. Store them flat or rolled up instead. Your blanket will need to be tested by a qualified electrician every three years, and you should replace your blanket if it's more than 10-years-old.
If you're snuggled up to a wheat bag for extra heat, make sure the microwave turntable is working properly, and keep a careful eye out for signs of overuse such as burning or charring. Make sure you leave the bag to cool in a safe area.
Don't use a wheat bag as a bed warmer, overheat the bag, heat the bag until it has completely cooled, leave the microwave unattended when heating or store the bag until it has cool down completely. DO NOT use the bag if it has been damaged.
In case of power failure, make sure you've got a torch to hand, and if you have to use candles make sure you extinguish matches carefully. never leave a burning candle unattended. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Make sure you keep them in proper candle holders, and away from your curtains and other flammable materials.
Make sure you've got a mobile phone handy so that you can still make an emergency call in the event of a power cut.
Stay safe, mid-Somerset, and stay warm.