Keeping nan and grandad safe this winter

Older people have traditionally been seen as easy targets for burglars. However, if you follow these top tips you can reduce the risk of burglary and help elderly friends and relatives feel safe in their homes.

Remind them to close and lock all window and doors when they leave the house - even if they are just popping out for few minutes.

They also shouldn’t give spare keys to anyone they don’t know really well, such as tradespeople. If someone they are unsure about may have access to the property, change the locks as soon as possible - it is better to be safe than sorry.

Another tip is to try not to leave keys outside the property, especially in obvious places such as under plant pots or doormats – these ‘secret’ places are often the first port of call for burglars, so don’t make it easy for them.

You can also remind elderly friends and relatives – particularly those living alone – to be careful when opening the door to strangers. If they have a timber front door, they should look through the ‘spy hole’ and enable the door chain before swinging it open, only releasing the chain if they are satisfied that the person at the door is really who they say they are and have identity to prove the purpose of their visit. Basically, if they are unsure, keep them out.

Finally, if you think you or anyone you know has been broken into, do not enter the property as the burglar may still be inside - walk to a public place and call the police.