Top 10 home security tips for the elderly

Unfortunately the elderly are often victims of burglaries. Especially when living on their own as they can be perceived as easy targets. Of course, there is no definitive solution to the problem but there is some advice we can give to reduce the risk of being burgled.

Firstly, we highly recommend you have a door chain and a door viewer fitted to your door. This way, if someone knocks you will be able to see who is there using the peep hole and be able to talk to them with the chain on the hook without opening your door and leaving yourself and your property vulnerable.

Don’t let any strangers into your home. If a supposed salesperson comes to your home, make sure you ask for their company ID and if you are still unsure keep them outside while you call the company to ensure they are who they say they are.

If someone comes to your home asking to use the phone to call a mechanic or the police for example, never let them in. Always make the call yourself while keeping the stranger outside. This distraction method is often used to scout for valuable items.

Be wary of scammers who tell you that you have won a large amount of money or the lottery for example – they will ask for your bank details. NEVER provide anyone with this information and NEVER sign any contracts.

Don’t keep large amounts of money in your home. Deposit them in the bank, however if you insist of keeping it in your home, buy a home safe to keep your valuables such as money, jewellery and important documents secure.

Burglaries often happen at night, so it is worth considering purchasing light timers which automatically turn on at night, giving the impression someone is up and awake and deterring a possible break in.

When you vacate your property ensure you lock all your doors and windows and keep your curtains closed. This prevents any potential burglars seeing what valuables you have.

If you are planning on leaving your home for a couple of days or more, ask Royal Mail about their keepsafe service which can look after your post while you’re away and deliver it upon your return. A mountain of unopened letters is a clear signal no one is home. Alternatively, you could ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home and pick up any post lying around the front door.

Never leave a spare set of keys outside of your home such as under the doormat or in the flower pot. If you have thought of a place so have the burglars.

Don’t leave your keys near your door or windows as criminals have developed clever fishing techniques to acquire these keys such as putting a metal coat hanger through your letter flap to try and hook onto the keys and pull them out. Consider investing in a TS008 standard letter plate restrictor to prevent these sorts of attacks.

Not only do dogs make great companions for the elderly, they can also act as a great deterrent. A barking dog no matter how big or small can be frightening enough to scare away a tempted thief and can also alert you to an intruder before they manage to break in.

Our Guest Author

This article is written by Callan Wells-Raynes a locksmith and blogger working for ITCC a London Locksmith company.