- Make sure you secure windows and doors before you leave the house.
- If you are in the garden or upstairs, make sure your downstairs doors are locked,
and that you have a key with you to get in or out in a hurry.
- Fit window locks and keep the keys in a safe place.
- Keep tools and ladders securely locked away.
- Display your burglar alarm and neighbourhood watch sticker prominently.
- Put up a warning sign for visitors if you have a dog as this will deter thieves.
- Keep valuable items out of view. Don’t leave keys under a doormat or on a
string through the letterbox. Burglars expect this.
If you have problems with home security, answering the door, fitting a door chain or a key safe, there are services that can help:
- The Hampshire Bobby Scheme provides free home security and safety checks to anyone in Hampshire who is vulnerable, disabled or over the age of 65. This service is also available to those most vulnerable due to disability or long term illness. Telephone 0300 777 0157.
- Your borough or district council’s housing department can let you know if there is local Home Improvement agency or Handyman scheme that can help you.
- The local police will be able to advise you if windows, doors etc are safe and secure. Call 101 (textphone 18001 101) and ask for the number of the local Crime Prevention Officer. They also provide comprehensive online crime prevention advice.
- Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service recommends that you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and ideally in all rooms except your kitchen and bathroom.
It is important that you regularly check that alarms are not clogged by dust and that you test that their batteries work.
Plan how you would get out of the house in an emergency. Your working smoke alarm will give you early warning of a fire. You should get out of the house, call the Fire Service and stay out.
Find out more about fire safety in the home. HFRS will also do home safety visits to assess any risks in your home and advise you. You can complete the Safe and well assessment on their website to request a visit or telephone the Community Safety Team on 023 8062 6751.
- If you are hard of hearing, or even a heavy sleeper, you should consider fitting strobe light and vibrating-pad smoke alarms. Contact the Action on Hearing Loss information line on 0808 808 0123 or textphone 0808 808 9000.
- The Government has produced leaflets on fire safety for people with sight, hearing or mobility difficulties.
Scams and nuisance calls
Doorstep sales and bogus callers
Hampshire Trading Standards have a Quick Response Team who can come out to your home if a doorstep caller, offering property repairs, is causing you concern and:
- is still at your home; or
- is due to return e.g. to collect payment; or
- is offering to take you to the bank to withdraw cash.
In these circumstances, telephone 01962 833666 for assistance immediately. You can also use this number to inform Trading Standards of doorstep callers in your area.
Scams by post and telephone
Hampshire Trading Standards warns that an estimated three million people fall victim to scams each year. Scams such as bogus lotteries, prize draws and miracle health cures arrive by post or telephone and target elderly people and the
vulnerable, often leading to debt and depression.
Always be sceptical about any unsolicited offers and never part with money or give your bank or credit card details to obtain a prize or an offer that is too good to be true. Don’t be rushed into making an instant decision and don’t ring premium rate numbers (starting 090) to claim a prize or arrange a parcel delivery.
For further advice or if you are worried that you, or someone close to you, has been a victim of a scam, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
Visit the website for the latest information and advice on scams and doorstep crime in Hampshire.
Reducing nuisance junk mail and telephone calls
- You can reduce the amount of junk mail delivered to you by visiting the Mailing Preference Service website or calling 0207 291 3310.
- You can stop unaddressed leaflets being delivered by Royal Mail by sending your name and address details to Freepost ROYAL MAIL CUSTOMER SERVICES or email email@example.com Tel: 0345 266 0858
- You can stop unsolicited telephone calls by visiting the Telephone Preference Service website or calling 0345 070 0707. It may take a while for calls to reduce. If you continue to have a problem, contact the TPS or you can call OFCOM on 020 7981 3040.
For information about equipment which can help you to feel safe in your home, including pendant alarms and other telecare products, see our Equipment and adaptations section.