Safety and security of your property

It’s important to look after yourself as you get older – including your safety and security at home. Many of the best ideas are common sense, but true peace of mind comes from knowing you've got all the bases covered. Here are some ideas to help you. 

How can I feel safe and secure in my home as I get older?

It’s easy to focus on the bad things that happen in life, and we’re not here to worry you about growing older. However, there is confidence that comes with knowing your home is as safe and secure as possible. By making small adjustments such as installing new locks or buying a personal alarm, you might feel that little bit happier where you live. And you’ll be better equipped to get out and about more often.

Here are some tips for staying secure in your home:

  • Locks, door chains, smoke alarms and personal alarms
    These don’t have to cost a great deal, but they can make all the difference to your personal safety. Remember to check smoke alarms regularly to make sure they’re still working.
  • Boiler, gas and fire safety
    It’s worth having an assessment to see if your gas appliances such as boilers, ovens and fires are working properly and not omitting harmful carbon monoxide gases. In addition make sure any electrical appliances such as electric blankets are checked on a regular basis to ensure they pose no fire hazard.
  • Be careful on stairs and landings
  • According to ROSPA*, almost three-quarters of falls among the 65-and-over age group result in arm, leg and shoulder injuries, and many of the most serious accidents happen on the stairs and landings. To prevent the threat of a fall, they suggest the following:
    • Avoid leaving items on the stairs – they can become a tripping hazard.
    • Ensure stairs are carefully maintained – damaged or worn carpet should be repaired or removed.
    • Try to avoid repetitive carpet patterns that may produce a false perception for those with poor eyesight.
    • Landings, stairs and hallways should be well lit with two-way light switches.
    • Make sure banisters are sturdy. The fitting of two easy-grip handrails gives more stability.
  • Know your neighbours
    We’re not saying you have to throw them a party, but it really does help if you have someone you can call upon in an emergency. Now might be the time to start building these relationships, or taking part in a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
  • Scams and burglaries
    We’re not trying to be alarmist, but tricksters and con artists sometimes target older people. Make sure you don’t invite anyone you don’t know into your home without proper accreditation. And even then, ask them if they can come back later when you have someone else with you.

You probably know about most of these security tips, but it can’t hurt to be on the safe side. The more you can do to increase your confidence, the more independent you’ll be in later life. Find out more about keeping busy in retirement. 

*Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents