Care & Home Safety

Safety, Mobility & Equipment

Making your home safe is important, especially if you are caring for a child with additional needs. For all homes it is recommended that you fit smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire guards, but there are other products that can help make your home a safer place to live. These include, window locks, door ajar clips, window and door alarms and cupboard and appliance locks. With a combination of products, you can help secure kitchen cupboards and drawers, as well as preventing accidents and falls. Many children find plugs sockets and switches fascinating so don’t forget your plug socket and switch covers.

When you are out with your family, there are adapted products which can make your journey easier. These include strong walking reins for larger children and even adults as well as backpacks with a handy detachable rein. Portable changing mats and a radar key are also handy must haves for holidays and days out.

Travel

Making your journey easier and safer - adapted product solutions for travelling, days out and holidays.

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Home Safety

Helping to create a safe and stress free environment, product solutions to help to prevent accidents and mishaps at home.

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COMMON ISSUES & SOLUTIONS

Making a house and garden safe for your children is important for any family. There is a range of safety equipment which can help and although you would need to still supervise your child, these can make life easier – especially for those caring for a family member with special needs.

For all homes it is recommended that you fit smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire guards if you have an open fire or gas fire.
Information relating to safety advice in the home can be found at;

The London Fire Brigade
http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/SafetyAtHome.asp

HM Government
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/make-your-home-safe-from-fire

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
http://www.rospa.com/home-safety/


Safety Equipment for the Home

Window locks will prevent the window from being opened or opened too wide. This will stop someone from being able to get out of the window, preventing falls and accidents. Some modern windows will incorporate locks and devices to prevent the window from being opened too wide but in many cases you may need to look into getting locks that will fit your windows. The range of locks and window restrictor arms, suitable for wood or PVC frames, on the market is wide. You will need to research which locks would be best for you, most DIY stores will have a good range and they should be able to advise you on the available products.

PLEASE NOTE
• Because nearly all the locks have keys you would need to keep the key safe and available to use at all times as you may need to use the windows as an exit in case of an emergency - such as fire.
• If you are living in rented accommodation you may need to check with your landlord if you can make alterations. If you have a Housing Associations or Council property you should contact them regarding making changes that will make you home safe for your family and child.

Cupboard Locks can be essential for preventing someone getting access to harmful household products and equipment - as well as restricting access to food and drink. You should think carefully about the best place to store kitchen and bathroom products such as bleach and cleaning products. These should always be kept in a safe place, out of reach of children and those with special needs, as they may not be able to recognise the dangers of these potentially harmful products.
Food can also be a temptation. Some people with autism or a sensory processing disorder for example may not be able to regulate their diet and will be seeking food constantly or at inappropriate times of the day or night. Keeping food cupboard locked can help.

As with the window locks there are different types of cupboard lock. These range from magnetic locks, flexi locks for cupboards with handles, locks designed for drawers and locks for sliding doors and windows. This all can be a bit confusing so it is worthwhile thinking about the type of lock you need and how it would be fitted. Some locks attach to the doors with adhesive pads which means you won’t need any tools to fit them. However, if you have a child or adult who is particularly strong or ambitious, they may be able to force these locks open.

Magnetic locks may be stronger but you would usually need to fit the lock mechanism to the concealed side of the door or drawer. This would mean making holes and fixing the lock to the door with screws. The advantage is that the lock is concealed, the door or drawer being opened with the magnetic key.
We advise that you look in to the options available before choosing the best lock for you. Many DIY stores and online retailers have a range to choose from and should be able to give you advice.

Appliance Locks are available to help secure shut domestic appliances such as fridges and freezers, tumble driers and some work on ovens doors. These are usually fitted without screws, relying on adhesive pads instead so that they do not damage the appliance.
There are also clips that fit around oven knobs so that the hob or oven cannot be switched on.

Door locks – You may think it would be easier to put a lock on the kitchen door so that access is limited to the times that you can supervise in the kitchen. However, fitting internal locks in your home can present problems with safety. If for example one of the access routes out of the house is through the kitchen it would be unsafe to keep the kitchen door locked, especially if there was a fire. Whereas it might be fine to lock the cupboard under the stairs to keep the fuse box and meters from being tampered with, it is not safe to block access and escape routes in case of emergency.

Door Clips - these clips are designed so that they keep an internal door in the ajar position. There is usually a bracket that needs to be screwed into the door frame, and the clips have a quick release mechanism so that adults can release the door. By keeping the door in the ajar position a parent or carer can maintain communication with the person on the other side in the next room. The disadvantage is that the door, once the bracket is fitted might not close fully, depending on the model. These are not suited for external doors.

Door and Window Alarms – these alarms can give peace of mind to a family or carer if they are worried that a relative is likely to wander, especially useful at night. They are usually fitted to a door or window frame and will sound an alarm if they are opened. Some versions are wireless and send a signal to a receiver unit/pager, letting the carer know that a door or window has been opened.

Wander Alarms – in a similar way to the door and window alarms these systems let the carer know if someone is up and about, which can be helpful at night. The alarm could let the carer know for instance, if the child or adult is up and trying to use the toilet or go down stairs. There are a lot of different versions and price brackets. Some fit to doors and windows and send a signal to the carer when they have been opened. Other might have a sensor pressure pad, put beside a bed or across the threshold that will trigger when it is stood on while other might alarm if the child or adult rises from their bed. More comprehensive systems might combine all of these elements.

There are a lot of suppliers of these, catering for a wide spectrum of the community as well as children with special needs. If you are considering a wander alarm, it would be worth while researching what is available before getting one, as the prices can vary a lot.

Tap Straps – these are a fairly simple device that fits over the tap and prevents them from being turned on, useful if a child or adult has a fascination with water. They can be used in basins and baths but they are only suitable for cross head straps.

Grab rails and bars – these are good for those who may have limited mobility, positioned correctly they can be placed around a bath to help with standing, sitting and getting in and out of the bath. They can also be used around the toilet.

Light switch and socket covers – plastic covers that fit around sockets and light switch covers so that they cannot be turned on or off. They stop sockets and switches from being tampered, preventing injury by electrocution. There are different versions, some have a push mechanism to open them, while others have a key. They usually have a gap at the bottom to allow the flex of an appliance to go through so that it can be used while the cover is in place. Single and double socket types available. They are usually fitted by unscrewing the socket/light switch plate and fitting the cover behind it, then retightening the plate – please turn off the power supply while fitting.

Covers can also be purchased for thermostats and controllers – see SSP Direct: http://www.securitysafetyproducts.co.uk/security/protective-covers-cages/clearstop-locking-cooker-and-electric-switch-cover-ideal-for-alzheimers-and-dementia-care-applications.php

Glass Safety film – this film is designed hold the glass of a window in one piece should it be broken. Stops the glass from shattering which reduces the risk of injury. Usually comes in rolls that can be cut to size to fit the windows.