Homeowners of all ages need to feel confident and safe in their own homes. As you get older you may feel more vulnerable and want to ensure that your property is protected against thieves and vandals with some extra security measures.
Who is Knocking at Your Door?
The first line of defense of any property is the front door. There are too many stories in the press recounting tales of elderly homeowners opening their doors to the unscrupulous. An intercom rather than a traditional front door bell or knocker will allow the homeowner to ascertain who is at the door.
Another way of protecting your doors is to install security grilles at the rear and front. Security Direct supplies a wide range of shutters and grilles that won’t make a house look like Fort Knox once installed but still do the job.
Most Burglars are Opportunists
The charity Age UK suggests that most criminals are opportunist. If they are wandering about a residential area that’s popular with older homeowners, the casual burglar will be more attracted to a house that doesn’t have an alarm, and seems to have windows that are easy to access.
Make sure that all your windows are fitted with locks. Double glazed windows are harder to break into than single glazed sash windows. Age UK also suggests that older homeowners install an ‘automatic rim latch key (also called a nightlatch) to front doors.’ These ingenious devices don’t need a key to open the door from the inside.
Security on the Wrist
Those with older relatives are often concerned that fears about security might lead the relatives to be too afraid of crime, or their own frailty to live an independent life to the fullest. A recent article in the Daily Mail suggests that a GPS wristband might be the answer. The Buddi wristband tracks the movements of the elderly relative and if they should fall as a result of illness or crime then help can be sent as quickly as possible.
In an emergency this type of device is ideal, as the injured party won’t even have to use a telephone to summon assistance. The wristband is able to communicate with a dock which is based in the home and connected to a 24/7 response unit. Carers and family will also be alerted. Any device that helps the elderly to lead a free and independent life will only add to the quality of that life.
Simple Steps for Security
All the additional security steps in the world won’t help if spare keys are left under flowerpots, or downstairs windows are left open when the homeowner is away from home. Ladders should always be locked away securely in the garden shed. If the homeowner is going away for a couple of days, leave the curtains ajar rather than shut, and fit sidelights with a timer to give the appearance of normality.
If the homeowner employs staff, for example gardeners or cleaners, then make sure that references are fully checked, and see if you can also get a word-of-mouth recommendation. Older people often rely on the help of others and they need to feel confident that they’re not inviting a potential thief into their own home.
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This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular contributor to Huffington Post. All views are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of WeMakeItSafer.