The following is a list of general safety and security tips. They are mainly common sense. It is not a definitive list as that would go on forever and this is not a "Nanny" site !
HOUSEHOLD DO's AND DON'TS
DO NOT leave any form of fire unattended and without a fire guard.
DO ensure that all gas appliances are regularly serviced by a CORGI certified company or individual.
DO NOT leave any lit cigarettes / cigars / pipes unattended.
DO fit smoke detectors. Follow the installation instructions. Follow the regular testing and cleaning instructions. Change the batteries in line with manufacturers instructions - put the replacement date in your diary.
DO discuss with your family an evacuation plan that you can use in the event of a fire.
DO fit child proof locks on cupboards where you store cleaning fluids and other chemicals if children come into or live in your home.
DO fit socket covers onto unused electricity sockets if children come into or live in your home.
DO fit a guard to your cooker hotplate area to stop young children from pulling hot pans and there contents onto themselves.
DO consider fitting child gates on stairs if you have children living in your home.
DO have your copy of "PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES" HM Government booklet readily available in your home.
DO NOT tie a spare key onto a piece of string and have it available at the back of the letter box.
DO NOT hide a spare key under a door mat or flower pot in your front garden.
DO NOT allow unexpected strangers into your home regardless of who they say they are. If the caller is genuine they will have a passcard stating an official telephone number for you to contact. If you still have doubts about their authenticity don't allow them in.
DO have front door keys readily available ( not in the lock ) if you lock your front door when you sleep at night. This is to allow easy exit in the event of an emergency (ie. fire etc. ).
DO ensure the keys are readily available ( not in the lock ) near to the back door when you sleep at night. This is to allow easy exit in the event of an emergency.
DO close all windows and lock all external doors when you leave your property empty, for no matter how long.
DO NOT lock external doors when you leave during the day if the property is still occupied - this is in case of an emergency to allow for evacuation.
DO ensure that doors to garden sheds are locked. This is to hinder criminals from gaining easy access to your tools which could be used to enter your home and your neighbours.
DO lock ladders to an immovable object (ie. a wall ). Apart from climbing, a ladder could make a great battering ram for going through a window.
PROPERTY DO's and DON'T's
DO make a list of all valuables. In the case of jewellery take a photograph with a measurement reference ( a coin for example ) in the shot.
DO get expensive or sentimental jewellery valued at a jeweller. Then keep the valuation in a safe place; you will need it if you need to claim for a loss.
DO make a list of all other valuable goods (ie. TV's, DVD, Computers, Printers, Camera's etc). The list should include the Manufacturers name, model reference number and serial number.
DO use a security pen to mark electrical goods and other expensive items ( camera's ) with your house number and post code. Therefore if the stolen goods are found they can easily be identified as yours.
PERSONAL IDENTITY - DO's and DON'T's
DO NOT throw out any paperwork with your name on it. These can be used as forms of identity for bogus people trying to obtain things like store cards, using your name. Get a shredder and shred those old statements and utility bills to bits.
DO NOT send important personal paperwork ( Birth Certificates etc. ) through the post if you can help it. Try to deal with the requestor of such information in person. If you have no choice, send the paperwork by registered or data post. Check at the Post Office for the best option.
DO NOT write down "PIN" numbers of any of your debit or credit cards.
DO regularly check your store, credit and debit card statements for any transaction irregularities.
DO ensure that you have security software loaded, operational and up to date on your computer / laptop if you do online banking.
DO NOT provide all of your personal information on reunion websites. Many of these sites ask you for the name of the first school your attended, the last school you attended, where you were born etc. There are several banks that use this information for security questions to allow you to access your bank account online.
DO have your mail redirected to your new address when you move. It has been reported that the majority of ID thefts occur when people / victims move home. So when you move address use the Royal Mail Redirection Service to make sure your mail follows you, whether you're moving for a while or for good. You can choose to redirect for one, three, six or twelve months and at the end of that time, you can renew for up to two years. Royal Mail can redirect your mail from any UK address to any address here or overseas.
If you're moving from your home address to a new address, just pick up a 'Moving home?' Redirection application form at your nearest Post Office™, fill it in and post it to the quoted address or call their service line on 08457 740 740.
WHEN TRAVELLING - DO's and DON'T's
DO check the instructions for evacuation on trains, the Underground trains and buses.
DO have a alternative route planned out for returning home from work. Do you know what route to follow if you needed to walk ?
DO NOT use unauthorised mincab companies for any journey, no matter how short. Check the Transport for London ( Tfl ) website for authorised companies for your location and future destinations.
DO keep telephone details of a London Black cab company in your wallet or purse. You don't know when you may need it.
DO join a car rescue / recovery company if you own a car. It will save you £'s and a lot of anxiety if your car breaks down.
DO take a mobile phone with you when driving so you can call for help if you break down. Don't forget to have a blanket in the car to keep you warm while you wait.
REMEMBER, DO NOT TALK ON YOUR MOBILE WHILST DRIVING.
HOLIDAYS, BEFORE YOU LEAVE - DO's and DON'T's
DO cancel the milk and the newspapers.
DO ensure that all of the windows and external doors are locked.
DO turn off your water supply at the stopcock.
DO ask a close neighbour if they would not mind pushing any purtruding mail through the letterbox.
DO think about controlling lights with a timeswitch. This is to help give the impression that your home is occupied. So lights would typically come on at dusk and go out at 11pm.