Older and Wiser – Senior Security Confidence

Older and Wiser – senior security brings confidence

Autumn is just around the corner. Daylight hours are shortening and there will soon be a nip in the air. It’s our reminder to attend to outdoor home and vehicle security issues so we stay safe when we’re out and about through the cooler months of the year.

Garden and yard

Slip hazards

Paths and decks can be hazardous when their surfaces become slippery. Water-blast hard surfaces such as wooden decking, and concrete and brick paths. If you’re up to doing the job yourself, why not share in the cost of a water blaster with trustworthy family or friends.

Uneven surfaces

Lumps and bumps in lawns or soft surface paths are a trip hazard. Grab the spade or shovel and chip and level grassed areas. Fill paths with extra gravel.

Access ways

One of the most used after-dark access ways is from your vehicle parking spot to the door of your home. Keep it clear of any objects such as planters, garden ornaments, or foliage.

If you have a home vegetable garden, create safe access ways to your produce by laying down untreated sawdust. It can usually be sourced free or inexpensively from saw mills or garden centres, is light to carry, and easy to spread. When it decomposes, it can be used as compost.


Outdoor lighting illuminates paths for you and guests, and is also a deterrent to those you don’t want on your property. Check outdoor lights are operating, and bulbs are clean. If you don’t already have sensor lights (the sort that turn on automatically in response to movement), consider getting them installed.

At the door

Your door is a gateway to friends and family, but also to strangers. Don’t open it to those you don’t know and trust. If you don’t already have a security screen door, consider having one fitted (it can also double as a way to air or cool your home without having to leave your front door open). At the very least, have a security chain fitted.


When engaging trades people, stick with a company you have used in the past, ask for the name of the staff member who will be calling, and their approximate arrival time. When they arrive, ask to see their card before you invite them into your house.

Loose items

When you’re done with the barbecue, garden chairs, and any other loose items in your yard, pop them away in the garage or secure them if they’re not easy to move. In autumn gales, they can take flight and damage walls and windows.


Lock it

It’s tempting to leave your garage unlocked during the day or while you’re out on a brief errand in the car. Don’t! Garages are often not visible from the rest of your home, they may contain valuable equipment (including your vehicle), and they can provide internal access to your home.


Consider installing an automatic door if you don’t have one. They allow you to drive into the garage, close the door and check your surroundings before you leave the car, all from the safety of your locked vehicle.


Garages tend to become repositories of odds and ends that don’t have a home elsewhere. Even if your garage is well-lit, make sure floor areas are clear of trip hazards. Shelving from hardware stores isn’t expensive. Buy a unit or two to use as storage, and save the floor for your feet.


It’s no fun breaking down on the road in cold weather. So, use the autumn period to get your car up to scratch.


Take your vehicle in for an autumn check and tune-up (be sure to have the heating, wiper blades, and the spare tyre checked while you’re at it).

Break-down prep

Make sure you’re signed up to a road-side automobile service provider. Check your vehicle insurance to see if you are automatically entitled to this service or if your insurer provides a discount when you sign up to their recommended provider.

If you live in a more remote part of the country make sure you know how to change a tyre (practise at home), or how use an instant tyre repair kit. Check the spare is inflated to the correct pressure, and your jack is in the car!

Emergency kit

Pop an emergency kit into the boot which includes a neon safety vest (useful when changing a tyre or inspecting the exterior of the car), warm rug, snacks, and water.

Demist tip

Practise this handy window demisting tip at home, so you can use it quickly when you’re on the road: When your window fogs up, turn on the heater (direct it onto the screen) and the air-con (or ‘recirculate’ in older cars) simultaneously. The heater will dry the glass while the air-con (or ‘recirculate’) keeps the atmosphere inside the vehicle dry to prevent re-fogging.