Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Security and older people

Thankfully, crimes against older and vulnerable people are relatively uncommon. However, when they do occur they can be very upsetting.

As providers of the only security rated key safe in the UK, we are often invited to provide guidance on general household security for elderly and vulnerable people. Key safes provide an easy and secure way of allowing authorised visitors to access your home. They significantly improve security compared to alternatives such as hiding a spare key under the mat, plant pot or in the garden shed and are commonly used by carers, GPs, family members and the emergency services.

There are very simple measures you can take to improve security. Whether you are 25 or 85, the advice for protecting yourself and your home is very similar.

Your first concern should always be your own personal safety. No matter if you are inside or outside your home, you should always make sure you have a means of contacting someone in the event of an emergency.

Today there are various ways to stay connected. Mobile phones are a great way to ensure that you can call for help in an emergency. With such a wide variety available, they can be as complex or as simple as you like. When you are inside your home, personal alarms or telecare devices allow you to alert family members, loved ones or a monitoring centre at the press of a button.

Protecting your home and valuables can be really simple and cost effective. Every once in a while, you should take a look at the various access points of your house and determine if they’re secure enough. It may be necessary to purchase additional locks for windows and doors or install door viewers and chains for extra security and peace of mind.

If you are unable to inspect or install additional security, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, relatives or neighbours. Most people out there are more than willing to help, especially when it comes to your security. Alternately, there are charities and organisations, like Care & Repair, who actively work to ensure that older people stay safe and secure in their own homes. It may also be possible to get help to pay for locks and chains.

Valuables should always be kept safe and not put on display. Keep your money in the bank, building society or post office and avoid keeping large sums of cash in the house. Today, most shops and retailers are equipped to deal with debit or credit cards. There is little need to carry large sums of cash to purchase goods or services. However, these changes in payment methods carry their own cautions. Remember to guard your card information and never keep your PIN number with your card. If you need any assistance or advice, your bank should be able to talk you through their own card security advice.

Remember, even the best security equipment is useless unless it is used. Be sure to always lock up properly, even if you are just popping out for a few minutes. You should always ensure that the access to your home is protected. When possible, avoid opening the door without a door chain and always check credentials of unscheduled visitors.

If you do have regularly scheduled visitors, ensure that you are familiar with their schedule and manage their access. You should always ensure that you remain in control of your home. You can do this by remembering to always lock your doors and windows and limiting the number of spare keys available. Preferably, you should always avoid handing out spare keys or leaving them exposed and unsecure. Burglars know that people tend to leave a spare key in a handful of places near their door and will often search these before attempting a break-in. Don’t make their job easier for them by leaving keys where they can easily be accessed. If you must leave a key outside, use a Police approved key safe and only give the code to people you trust.

Following this simple advice, combined with that of your local community Police, you should maintain a secure lifestyle.

Richard Conyers
Digital Executive
The Key Safe Company


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