Staying safe in your home

Personal safety is something all of us need to think about in our everyday lives. It can include feeling safe in your home and neighbourhood, being prepared in an emergency and having the peace of mind that your property is secure from theft or vandalism.

There are many little things we can do to make sure we’re safe. It can be as simple as making a list of phone numbers of people you can rely on to call in an emergency, getting a neighbour to keep an eye out on your house while you are away and making sure your home is not only a comfort haven, but a safety haven.

Falls prevention

Preventing falls and fractures

Reduce the likelihood of a fall in your home. While we may know our homes like they are the back of our hand, as we get older, the risk of a serious injury from a fall gets higher.

Community Safety

Living in a community where we feel safe and have people we trust is important. The Neighbourhood Support site has lots of suggestions about keeping safe, such as how to reduce the likelihood of burglary of your property or vehicle.

They’ve also got tips and a fact sheet on reducing the risk of a break-in your home.

Fire safety

In 2013, two older women were the victims of a fire because they didn’t have a fire alarm. Earlier in 2015, an elderly woman was also involved in a fatal fire. These tragedies are another reminder of just how important it is that we make our homes fire-safe.

Set up a Fire alarm

Most fire stations in New Zealand will come to your house, advise where to place the fire alarms (or smoke alarms), and provide assistance with installation if you are disabled or have age-related difficulties. Give your local fire station a call to get advice.

Test your fire alarm

Remember to always test your fire alarm. Check the battery and whether the sound is loud enough to wake you up!

Plan an escape route around your abilities

Whether it’s a fire, or any other emergency, if you need to use a wheelchair or cane, make sure you can get to them quickly.

If you have a wheelchair or a walking stick, make sure you can get to it easily and quickly.

Civil defence and emergency safety

A disaster can hit us at any time. Make sure you’ve thought about the essential items to have in an emergency. You can get some ideas from the Get Thru checklist and plan below.

Local authorities are responsible for civil defence emergency management.

If life or property is threatened always dial 111 for Police, Fire or Ambulance.

Elder Abuse

We all have the right to feel respected, safe and independent in our choices. If you are being abused (financially, socially, emotionally, physically or sexually) you can reach out for help. There are Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention centres nationwide that can help you.

If you or someone you know is in danger, dial 111 for Police or ambulance straightaway

Computer scams

Technology is a great way for us to stay in touch with our loved ones and find out what’s going on around the world. However, with the popularity of computers, tablets and smartphones, it’s important to be aware of increasing scams targeting users.

Don’t let this stop you for enjoying technology and the internet.

Door to Door scams

Door to door scams often target older middle-income New Zealanders. They are one of the most common scams.

Reporting crimes

If you want to report a crime, call the police on 111.

If you have difficulty hearing or talking on the phone, you can register to the 111 TXT service. The service allows you to send a text message to the Fire, Ambulance or Police in an emergency– find out how to set this up on the NZ Police website below