Warning over danger of cold homes

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Lincolnshire households in rural areas like Rasen are being warned over the dangers of turning down their heating in an attempt to economise this winter.

Government statistics show one in ten families will struggle to keep warm this winter after the expensive festive period.

The advice comes after 1080 excess winter deaths were recorded in Lincolnshire during 2014 and 2015, a significant increase from the previous year.

Rural homeowners are more likely to face the challenge of keeping warm and well during the colder months as their houses are typically older and poorly insulated, making them more difficult to heat.

Rural householders also tend to be older and more vulnerable to developing health problems from living in a cold home, such as breathing difficulties and heart complications.

OFTEC, the UK trade body for heating oil, is urging that people take the time to visit their elderly relatives to ensure their homes are sufficiently warm.

OFTEC recommends a variety of checks, such as ensuring the main living room is heated to 21 degrees, while other rooms in regular use should be heated to 18 degrees.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, commented: “The holiday season can be an exciting time of year for households across Lincolnshire.

“However, with all the extra associated costs, we mustn’t forget that for many people this period can be a real struggle.

“This is why it is so important to ensure you regularly visit older relatives and friends over the holiday period to check they are keeping warm and well.”