Seniors can be safer in their homes, by following these tips…
Be Careful at Your Door
Don’t open your door for strangers. This seems like obvious advise, but you might be surprised at how many people are tricked into opening their doors. What is someone came to your door and said they were from the gas company? What if they said they needed to come in for some emergency? Would you believe them and let them in right away?
Confidence men may come to your door with a very reasonable and important-sounding story. Don’t be fooled! You can phone whatever company they say they’re from, to check on their story. You can ask to see their ID. You can peek out the window and see if they came in a marked company truck.
Be very wary of anyone who arrives unexpected at your door, acting to be let in. Never open your door automatically. Install, (and use!) a peephole, so that you can see who’s on your doorstep. Make sure that you have an outside porchlight, (with the switch on the inside), so that you can turn it on when visitors arrive after dark. When in doubt, keep the door shut and locked, and call for help.
Keep your doors and windows locked. Windows can even be locked into position while they’re open. You can have that breeze without leaving the window wide open, and that’s especially important if you live on the ground floor. Doors should say locked all the time. Otherwise, there’s nothing to stop someone from walking right into your house!
Even though you’ll hope to never need them, make an inventory of your appliances and other valuable items. Take photographs, and record the serial numbers and keep that information in a safe place. Some of your property may be recovered after a robbery, and this well help authorities recognize what’s yours.
Don’t Get in a Rut
Be sure to vary your daily routine. Don’t be so predictable that someone can foresee where and when you’ll be alone. And when you do leave the house, don’t leave a note behind telling when you’ll be back or where you’ve gone. Notes such as ‘I’ll be home around 3pm’ tell potential burglars exactly how long they can work in your home uninterrupted.
Be a Good Neighbor
Find out if your neighborhood has a Neighborhood Watch program. Help keep an eye on your neighbor’s homes and they’ll help watch yours. As a group you can watch for unusual activity in your area, and notify authorities.
When You’re Away
When you travel away from your home, make sure the police and your neighbours know how to reach you, and when to expect your return. Use a timer to turn lights on and off while you’re away. Make sure to arrange for the Post Office to hold your mail; a box overflowing with uncollected mail is a dead give-away that the home’s owners are away. If you’re going to be gone long enough for the grass to need mowing, or during a snowfall, make sure to arrange for someone to take care of it while you’re gone.
Using all these tips can help seniors remain safe, and in their own homes, for as long as possible.
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