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7 home safety checks you can do in less than 1 minute

Help an elderly relative or neighbour with these quick and affordable safety checks, which will make a huge difference to their lives.


I would like to offer my thanks to everyone involved in the purchase of my new stairlift, from Tom who kindly answered all my questions on the first phone call, through to Alex and Leon, who did such a brilliant job installing my new stairlift. more

Mr Hobbs | Kent

I really have to put my thanks in writing for such a wonderful experience... more

T.J Bailey | Bristol

My Stairlift has been a blessing since then, I have told my friends where to go if they ever know anyone that needs a Stairlift.

Mr Forbes | Cheshire

Had my stairlift installed yesterday and wanted to let you know how pleased I am. The service has been excellent. The fitters were very clean, efficient and friendly. Thank you for making the experience a pleasant one.

Mrs Murray | Lancashire

7 home safety checks you can do in less than 1 minute

Help an elderly relative or neighbour with these quick and affordable safety checks, which will make a huge difference to their lives.

If you know of an elderly person who is living at home independently, it may be that they are currently living in an unsafe environment, although this can be easily rectified. Whether they are a relative and you worry about their safety, or you would like to help an elderly friend who many not have family close by, these are a number of quick home safety checks that will give peace of mind to all involved. Not only are these suggestion quick to achieve, but they are also cost efficient and will make a huge difference to those you help.

1.      Smoke alarms

Fire can be deadly, so it’s important to ensure that a home is equipped with the correct safety measures, in order protect those living inside. While it is likely that an older person has smoke alarms installed in the home, it may be that the batteries need changing, which can be checked by pressing the test button usually located in the centre of the device. It is advised that batteries are changed once a year as standard, and the smoke alarm vents vacuumed twice annually.

Extra ways to help include rearranging furniture, as well as removing any obstructions from walkways to ensure a clear fire-escape route. Carbon monoxide detectors are also available, with some including an alarm to alert those in the home if there is a problem.

2.      Stray cables

Cables can open up possibilities for trips and falls, which is why it’s a good idea to make sure these are out of sight. This can be done with cable ties, which keep them all together, or alternatively with cable clips, which mean they can be nailed to surfaces such as walls to keep them tidy. If you have the time, you could also tape down the corners of any rugs using double sided tape, or remove them completely, as this will also help prevent trips.

3.      Stairlift maintenance

While stairlifts should undergo a maintenance check at least once every six months and be serviced annually, there are a number of things that you can take a look at to ensure that it continues to be used safely. Tracks should be cleaned regularly so that nothing is getting in the way of the mechanisms, and the areas where the user gets on and off the stairlift should be checked so that they are clear of any obstacles.

You could also clean the ends of crutches, add rubber bottoms to canes and walkers, or help further by using non-skid floor wax to assist with fall prevention. It may be a possibility to get the soles or heels of the older person’s shoes replaced too, if they are in need of repairing. Those who suffer with mobility difficulties may also like your help to decide on whether they should have any adaptations made to their home, and our stairlift guide can provide you with the information you need.

4.      Food checks

Many older people often forget to check the best-before and use-by dates on products in their fridge and cupboards. These could be fresh items such as meat or fish, which have the potential to be very harmful, or simply products such as sauces that may not taste their best in the event of being used.

All food products are required by law to include a best-before or use-by date, and these are usually found on the packaging. Use-by dates appear on items that go off quickly, and products should not be used after this date in any circumstances. Best-before dates refer to quality rather than safety, and can be kept after these dates, although they may begin to lose flavour and texture.

5.      Sufficient lighting

Firstly, you should check that all current lightbulbs are in working order, as this could be a hazard if an elderly person finds that these are not working. You may also want to add nightlights, so that the older person will not have to worry about finding light switches, and will feel more comfortable visiting the bathroom during the night. By adding nightlights, this will help to keep areas like stairways and porches well-lit, which can also prevent falls that may occur due to poor vision. Another addition worth considering is outdoor lighting to light pathways, with solar-powered options ensuring that you won’t need to worry about batteries.

6.      Rearrange household items

It may be that the older person has objects they use regularly in difficult to reach places, which could cause accidents if they are over-reaching or using unsafe ways to get to the items. To prevent this, relocate household items into easier to reach locations, but remember it’s important not to move them too far, in order to avoid confusion for the older person.

It is also best to move all items that are hanging, such as saucepans, which should remove any danger of the items falling and causing injury.

7.      Ensure essentials are within reach

It is a great idea to place items such as drinking water, medication, a flashlight, a telephone and important contact numbers beside an older person’s bed, just in case of an emergency. This should mean that they are able to get in touch with a family member or the hospital or doctor should they need assistance or feel unwell, and will allow them to see clearly in the event of a power cut.

Image Credit: British Red Cross, Jenn Durfey, Kat Sniffen, Till Westermayer, Parker Knight (

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