Improve your home's safety

Make your home more secure

It’s important that you feel safe in your own home, and this section outlines some simple precautions you can take. Some of these tips are about making your home more secure to deter burglars, whilst others are about keeping your house as well-maintained as possible to avoid trips and slips.

Top tips to secure your home include making sure your property has the following:

  • Securing your doors
    Make sure your front door has a strong frame and good locks, a door viewer or peephole and a security chain.
  • Fit window locks
    Locks with keys to all downstairs windows or any others that are easy to reach, such as those above a flat roof or near a drainpipe.
  • Outdoor lights
    Outdoor lights not only act as a burglar deterrent, but they also make it much easier for you if you’re coming home after dark. Many switch on automatically when someone walks up the path and switch off afterwards.
  • Look after your keys
  • Keep your keys in a safe place. The first places a burglar will look for a spare key are under the doormat, in a flowerpot or on a piece of string through the letter-box.
  • Guard your garden
    Put up a good fence and padlock the side gate, which should be strong enough to withstand a good kick.

Remember: you can talk to your landlord about these changes if you rent your property.

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Remove risks in and around your home

Some simple changes can improve your safety in and around your home by removing risks to falls, grazes or accidents.

  • Declutter. Clear furniture from walkways; tidy wires; remove rugs/ tape edges to avoid tripping.
  • Ensure there is good, bright lighting and handrails on stairs. Keep stairs free of clutter.
  • Move heavy or difficult items in the kitchen to a height that does not require you to bend low or reach high.
  • Consider grab rails and non-slip mats in the bathroom – this is a slippery area!
  • Put a lamp in reach of your bed. If the area between your bedroom and bathroom is dark, use a night light in the hallway.
  • Get a fire safety check from the London Fire Brigade. They can install a smoke alarm free of charge if you don’t already have one.
  • Simple adjustments to how you manage daily tasks and/or your home safely can help. A small item of kitchen equipment could help you prepare a meal or eat and drink.
  • Keep emergency numbers that are easy to read next to your phone.
  • Consider organising access to the property in an emergency e.g., install a key safe.
  • Carry a phone in the house, or have a pendant alarm so help can be called at all times. Our Safe and Connect Service provides a 24/7, 365 days a year alarm service for older people and vulnerable people for a small fee. Alarms can be triggered by individuals either automatically or by pressing the pendant to call out someone to help them.
  • Raise or change chairs that are too low or difficult to get up from.
  • Place stools around the house to use as a rest, especially if you become breathless/experience pain when walking.
  • Ensure heating is in good working order (over 18ºC). Cold houses can cause chest problems or contribute to flu.
  • Consider creating access to a toilet on each level of your home.
  • Think through the trip hazard a pet may cause. Consider shutting them in the living room whilst answering the front door.
  • Keep outdoor paths tidy from weeds/shrubs and keep paving in good condition.

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Useful resources

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Page last updated:

February 20, 2023