Keeping Yourself Safe
Keeping safe from fire
Doing some simple things can stop a fire from starting in your home.
Smoke alarms will make a loud beeping noise to warn if there is a fire. You can buy them from supermarkets or high street shops, or you may be able to have fitted free by Fire and Rescue service.
- Keep tea towels away from cookers and toasters, keep wires from your kettle and toaster away from the cooker, check you have turned the cooker off when you have finished cooking.
- Chip pans easily catch fire, although you are advised not to use them always stay in the kitchen if and when you are cooking with one.
- Do not leave sauce pan handles sticking out from the hob – they could get knocked over.
- Electricity – Check plugs and leads are safe. Do not ever over load sockets.
- Don't use if you can see loose wires, scorch marks or other damage.
- Only put one plug in each wall socket. Unplug things when not using them.
- Do not put lamps near curtains, or dry clothes on heaters – they could catch fire.
Use an ashtray and make sure you have put your cigarette out.
Be careful if you are sleepy – Never smoke in bed, it's easy to fall asleep and set your bed on fire.
Always use proper candle holders. Put candles out if you leave the room and when you go to bed. Be careful not to put candles near anything that could catch fire like sofas or curtains.
If you buy furniture like a sofa or bed, check that it has a fire resistant label. This means that the furniture is less likely to catch fire.
What to do if there is a fire
GET OUT – try to stay calm and get out as quickly as possible.
STAY OUT – Keep a safe distance from your home.
You can also talk to staff about keeping yourself safe from fire and you can look at the leaflet enclosed in your guide Fire safety in the home.
Staff will do Health and Safety checks in your home, and may suggest ways to make your home safer.
SMaRT out of hour support line can help you to contact the emergency services.
How to beat bogus callers
Most people who come to your home will be genuine. But sometimes people turn up unannounced, with the intention of tricking their way into people's homes. They are known as 'bogus callers' or 'distraction burglars' and they want to get into homes to steal money or valuables.
There are things you can do to keep yourself safe:
- If in doubt keep them out! Official visitors should make an appointment with you beforehand. If you are not expecting them and you are alone, ask them to call back when you have someone with you.
- Do not keep large amounts of money in your home.
- Whether you are at home or away - keep your front and back doors locked.
- If you haven't got a chain or door bar think about getting one.
- You can use this when you answer the door, but don't keep it on all the time in case you need to get out in an emergency. Staff can help you to purchase a suitable type, and if needed, could help to get it fitted.
- Report bogus callers. If you think a bogus caller has called at your door, report it to the police – dial 999 and tell them what happened.
- If you have let someone in and you become uncomfortable, make an excuse and leave. Go to neighbours or ask a friend to come back with you.
- Passwords - gas, water, electricity companies, and some councils now have a password system for vulnerable customers. This is a word which a customer gives to the company, and any visitors would know if they called at their home.
Staff can give you more support and advice about this if you need it.
Protecting your home from burglary
Make sure your home is not an easy target for burglars. There are things which you can do to make it harder for a burglar.
- Lock windows and doors when you go out.
- Fit deadlocks to outside doors (burglars hate them as you need a key to open them from the inside and outside).
- Do not hide spare keys outside, or in a shed or garage (burglars always look there!)
- Make sure TV, DVD players, computers and other valuables can't be seen from outside. Use net curtains, or blinds.
- If you go out in the evening, leave a light on in the house.
- Don't leave money lying around.
- Get insurance for valuable possessions, but you must still lock your house or your insurance won't pay if you are burgled.
- Mark your property with your postcode and house number, using special security markers. We can provide you with one.
You can talk to staff about different ways to keep your home and possessions safe.
You can also talk to the SMaRT team, the out of hours support team. They will be able to give you advice and support over the phone.
SMaRT free phone 0845 650 5599
Keep safe on the move
What you can do:
- Carry your bag close to you with the fastener facing you.
- Keep your bag fastened up.
- Be careful when using your mobile phone – try not to use it in crowded places or near train or bus stops.
- Cover up expensive jewellery and be discrete with valuables such as MP3 players, cameras etc.
- When shopping or going to the bank or cash point, put money away at the till or cash point, so people can't see the money.
- Have your house keys ready so you can get in your front door quickly – carry them on you, not in your bag.
- When you are out and about, be aware of your surroundings. Avoid unlit areas, cross over the road to be nearer to other people if you are concerned that someone may be following or watching you.
BE COOL & KEEP YOURSELF SAFE AT ALL TIMES.