Even the strongest and most able bodied of us can become nervous when the doorbell rings unexpectedly. Spare a thought for the elderly who can be particularly nervous and vulnerable to unwanted attention. If you or someone you know is living alone and are worried about home safety and security then read on, as this article aims to advise you in how to secure your home for peace of mind.
Check identification from behind a chained door.
It is possible to open the door just partially by installing a chain. This means that you can safely see a person through the door as it will be ajar, and can ask what their purpose for visiting is. It is better not to be too trusting of people that you do not know than to fall victim to them. Most people are aware of the fear in which older people sometimes live, and will be understanding if you refuse to open the door fully to them. If they claim to be there for a legitimate reason (i.e. to check the gas meter, or a police officer) then demand to see I.D in a polite but firm manner. If I.D is not produced, tell the person that you will only open the door to strangers if you can see proof of identity. The advantage of installing a chain lock is that potential burglars do not have a chance to make a forced entry.
Always lock doors.
It might seem obvious, but the older generation grew up at a time when people rarely locked their doors. It might be that they are very trusting or that they are forgetful, but it is imperative that they get into the habit of locking their doors at all times, not just at night. It might seem a little overboard, but it is better to be safe and secure than to be the victim of a burglary.
Keep a phone nearby at all times.
In the case of an emergency or suspicious activity outside a home, it is always a good idea to ensure that a mobile or landline phone is kept nearby. Don’t be afraid to dial 999 and ask for the police if you feel that you might be threatened in any way. If a stranger calls at your home without ID, call your local police station and describe the person’s appearance.
Get a heavy duty door with a spy-hole.
Not only will a new door help to secure your home from would-be intruders, a spy-hole will allow you to peek at the person who is calling in order to assess the situation. You can then ask who it is from behind the locked door. If the answer is anything other than familiar then you have every right to politely decline to open the door.
Ask the police to carry out a security assessment of your home.
This is something that you are able to do. They can advise you of any weak points in your home security due to a sophisticated knowledge of criminal mentality.
Get a security alarm.
Security alarms are quite hi-tech these days and will not only alert you the moment any movement is detected while you are sleeping, but in many cases will also warn a control centre of a break in. Alarms also act as a deterrent against any break-ins on your home.