Keeping adults safe

"I’d like to know how I can stay safe."

Safety in the home

Your home is a place to relax and enjoy spending time with family and friends so we know you’ll want to protect it, and stay safe while you are in it. We’ve put together some information to make you aware of the risks and potential dangers in your home and what you can do to reduce them.

Protecting your home from crime

It is important to make sure you protect yourself and your home from people who may want to sneak in and steal your personal belongings.

Burglars are opportunistic thieves and will seek out any opening they can take advantage of to get into your home - even when you are there. Make sure you follow these safety tips to reduce the risk of something getting stolen.

While you are at home

Burglaries can happen even when you are at home. Here are some tips to follow:

Always close doors and accessible windows when you are not in the room.
Do not keep valuable items within reach of open windows.
Keep handbags away from the letterbox or cat flap. Hide all keys as a thief could hook keys or valuables even through a small opening.
If someone knocks on your door, make sure you know who it is before you open it. Be aware of doorstep crime.
Be alert for unusual activity around your home. If you see unfamiliar people in your neighbour’s garden check their identity with your neighbour or contact the police.
Fit tamper-proof automatic outside security lights.
At bedtime, check windows are closed and external doors are locked.
Install a burglary alarm that can be seen from outside to deter unwanted attention to your home. Make sure you put your alarm on when you go to bed.

Check your home is secure when you leave it

When you go out, follow this routine:

Close and lock all door and windows - even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
Store any valuables out of sight.
In the evening, shut the curtains and leave the lights on.
Use a timer that turns a light and/or radio on at dusk.
Set your burglar alarm.
Lock the garage and any side gates or sheds.
Make sure you do not leave a note on the door or anything that suggests you are not at home.

Extra steps if you are going on holiday

Here’s some tips to keep your home and belongings safe while you’re away:

Be careful of what you post on social media, you could be telling potential thieves that your property is unoccupied. Make sure any posts are set to private so only your friends can see them.
Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home, or join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.
Consider asking a neighbour to close your curtains after dark and to park on your drive.
Remember to cancel any regular deliveries, such as milk or newspapers, so they do not pile up on your doorstep.

Doorstep crime

Doorstep crime, also known as doorstep fraud or a doorstep scam, is a crime carried out by people who knock on your front door out of the blue with the aim of tricking you out of money. This is often by trying to sell you something from a fake business or trade.

Most people who knock on your door are genuine, but you need to be aware that some are not. Always be on your guard.

Who commits doorstep crime

Here are some of the people who may knock on your door:

  • Bogus callers - these people may trick you into giving them money or your personal details.
  • Rogue traders - these people offer to do work for you but then overcharge you for poor or incomplete work.
  • Aggressive sellers - this is when someone pressures you into buying goods that you don’t really want. You may feel threatened if you do not buy them.
  • Distraction burglars - these people often work in pairs. Someone will keep you talking at the front door, while another person enters your home without you knowing - usually through a door or window at the back. They’ll then steal any personal belongings or money you have laying around.

Safety tips to reduce the risk of doorstop crime

Trading standards’ offer the following tips to reduce doorstep crime:

If you’re not sure who is at your door - don’t open it!
If you choose to answer the door, use a door chain or bar gate.
If the seller tries to engage you in conversation, cut them off and close the door.
Only use recommended tradespeople. Never buy goods or services from a seller who turns up on your doorstep unexpectedly.
Trust your instincts and never allow uninvited sellers into your home.
Put up a ‘no cold calling’ sign and encourage your neighbours to do the same.

Creating a safe home

While health and safety is a big focal point within a business environment, when we are at home we tend not to apply the same health and safety processes to our living environment. However around half of all slips, trips and falls happen at home.

Making a few changes to your home can not only reduce the risk of falling, but also make it much easier to move around.

Learn more about creating a safe home environment

Gas and fire safety

Each year many lives are lost or affected due to a fire at home. Many of these fires could have been prevented. It is important that you and everyone in your home is aware of how to keep safe from fire and carbon monoxide.

Read more about fire safety

Gas leaks from unsafe gas appliances are extremely dangerous. Make sure you know how to maintain your gas appliances and spot the warning signs of a gas leak.

Find out more about gas safety

Getting help in an emergency

If you are worried about your safety in your home, you may find our Lifeline and response service gives you the reassurance you need to feel safe.

If you have a fall or there is an emergency in the home, you’ll be able to touch a button and be connected to one of our Lifeline operators who will provide all the help you need and/or get in touch with your family.

Learn more about our Lifeline and response service