If you feel that you are not safe in your home there are many simple things you can do to improve the safety and security of your house. You may want to think about:
- alarms – for fire, carbon monoxide, burglar alarms and alarms you can activate if you fall or are in danger
- locks and door and window security
- gas and electrical safety.
There is lots of information available about things you can do to make your home more secure. This includes:
- making the house look occupied – for example using timers to switch on lights or a tv or radio
- keeping the house secure – checking that all windows and doors are locked before leaving the house
- fitting a security alarm
- installing CCTV – this is an expensive solution and may not be for everybody.
You can find detailed information about home security from Devon & Cornwall Police at www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/crime-prevention/your-home/home-security.
Age UK also has crime prevention information and offers a handyman service in parts of Devon who can help with safety measures like fitting alarms. Visit www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/home-safety-and-security.
If a crime is being committed or you believe that you are in danger phone 999.
If the situation is not an emergency you can contact the police by:
- phoning 101
- texting 67101
- minicom/textphone 18001 101
Gas and electrical safety
If you have any gas appliances you should be having them checked every year, and you should put a carbon monoxide detector in every room.
You may also want to put a smoke detector on each floor and contact Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service to ask for a Home Fire Safety Check. Phone 0800 05 02 999 and visit devon.cc/firesafety for more details.
Alarms for deaf people
There are specific fire and carbon monoxide alarms for people who are Deaf or have hearing loss. Many of them have an under pillow vibrator to alert you when you are asleep.
A ROHI (Rehabilitation Officer Hearing Impairment) can help you find a system that works for you. Email the Devon Sensory Team on firstname.lastname@example.org phone 0345 1551 007 or text ‘Devon’ and then your message to 80011.
Age UK has created a Home Safety Checker which gives you guidelines for doing your own room-by-room home safety check. Find it at devon.cc/homesafetycheck.
Falls and fall alarms
You may feel unsafe at home because you are worried about falling.
Alarms and monitors can be a simple way to make living at home safer. The button on the alarm can be pushed when you fall or are unable to get to the telephone, and the alarm can alert a relative, a carer or a 24 hour call centre.
Other equipment can be installed to monitor your movement in the home and alert a carer if you fall or are in danger.
There are a range of alarms available with different features and at different prices. To see what is available and try out an alarm phone the Independent Living Centre on 01392 380181 or email email@example.com