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Safety and Security at Home

Home safety

  • If you have an open fire, always use a fire guard.
  • Do not hang clothes near a fire.
  • If you have an electric under-blanket, always switch it off before you get into bed.
  • Never fill a hot water bottle with boiling water and make sure you use a cover with the hot water bottle.
  • Never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Leave a low energy light on overnight in the hall, landing or stairs in case you need to get up during the night.
  • Make sure your air vents are not blocked, especially in rooms where there is a (natural) gas or oil boiler, solid fuel fire or standalone gas heater. Blocked air vents can allow dangerous levels of a gas called carbon monoxide to build up.
  • Think about installing a carbon monoxide alarm near the fire or boiler. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed as recommended by the manufacturers.
  • Have your boiler serviced every year to keep it  working safely. If you use natural gas, always use a registered gas installer.

Smoke alarms

Make sure you fit smoke alarms where they can be heard clearly.

If you live in a two-storey house, you need smoke alarms both upstairs and downstairs. Use alarms which have both a sound and light signal. Get a friend or family member to test the alarm batteries regularly.

Home security

  • Never let strangers into your home. Ask for identification first. If you are not sure, do not let them in.
  • Do not employ workers who call uninvited to your door.
  • Do not keep large amounts of money at home.
  • Fit timer switches to your lighting and think about installing extra security lighting. 


Tip: If a meter reader needs to get into your home to read your meter, don’t be embarrassed about asking to see their identification. All meter readers must carry identification. You can also call your energy provider who will confirm the meter reader’s identification.

The Seniors Alert Scheme

This scheme gives grants to improve the safety and security of older people. The grants pay part of the cost of installing:

  • monitored personal alarms;
  • monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors;
  • external security lighting;
  • internal emergency lighting.

To apply, you must be:

  • aged 65 or older, and
  • living alone, or
  • living with another older person who is over 65.


The Seniors Alert Scheme is run by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government with the help of local community groups and voluntary organisations registered with the Department. You can get an application form from one of these local groups.


To find out more about the scheme and which community groups are registered in your area:


Tip: If you have a personal alarm, make sure you wear it at all times. Test the personal alarm often. Someone is there to answer your call 24 hours a day.

Tip: Be a good neighbour. Check on your older neighbours.Don’t leave it to others – they may have left it to you.