Winter is almost upon us with the clocks going back, so it is most important that we stay safe and secure in our homes and when we venture out.
Most local police forces offer advice and are happy to provide information if requested. The first topic that we must address is that of having to get out and about in the dark.
Be safe be seen
With fewer daylight hours at this time of year, it is even more important that cyclists and pedestrian are seen by other road users. Pedestrians and cyclist can make themselves more visible to other road users by wearing something bright and reflective.
If out at night, cyclists should have lights, white on the front and red on the back. We also urge drivers to take extra care, to be cautious and to look out for pedestrians and cyclists: Our message is clear, be safe, be bright and be seen.
Trick or Treating
- Always put the door chain on and look out of the window or spy hole to see who is there before opening the door.
- Take particular care if there is more than one person on your doorstep, which you should be able to check if you have a spy hole installed.
- If in doubt or if you do not feel safe opening the door, then don’t. Often, and quite unnecessarily, people feel embarrassed about refusing to let someone in at the door. Only open the door if you feel safe to do so.
- If you are especially worried, you could invite a friend or relative around for dinner. A fun evening should take your mind off of unexpected callers.
- Most police forces will provide a poster to put on your door or in your window if you do not want to be disturbed by trick or treaters.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, says: Halloween can be a particularly stressful time for some older people, particularly those who are in poor health or living alone. Noise at night and unexpected callers can cause anxiety for people who feel vulnerable. We encourage those who will be out trick or treating this Halloween to have fun, but to do so responsibly and with respect.”
Hopefully, by being aware of these precautionary measures, older people will feel safer in their homes this Halloween. Age UK has produced a free information guide “Staying Safe” which contains information about personal security at home and is available free of charge from Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65 or by visiting www.ageuk.org.uk
Keep pets safe on Bonfire Night
These top tips should help ensure they enjoy the fireworks season as much as the rest of your family.
Below are ten top tips to help keep your cats and dogs safe and relaxed:
- Don’t leave animals alone on Bonfire night
- Walk dogs during the day
- Shut cats in at night
- Use black out blinds, which dampen sound as well as blocking out light
- Stay relaxed yourself and give pets space
- Play upbeat music – the consistent beat will cover the bangs of the fireworks.
- Animals naturally hide when scared so make a den to provide a safe and sheltered place where they can keep calm.
- Distract dogs by playing with toys and offer cats treats to ease their worries.
- You could try a ‘thunder shirt’ on your dog. This uses constant gentle pressure to calm anxiety
- Try ‘mutt muffs’ to protect your dog’s ears.