Hertfordshire continues to be one of the safest counties in England and Wales, but, when crimes are committed the victims still suffer, and now just hearing about crime can make others feel scared.
The countywide Hertfordshire Home Safety Service (HHSS) helps combat this by providing a range of free and low cost services, using proceeds of crime monies (POCA). This means money recovered from criminals will go directly to helping secure your home and make you feel safer.
What services make up HHSS?
The home safety service
- Advice on home safety including rogue trading advice.
- Free home fire safety visit online form.
- Fitting/maintaining locks on external doors.
- Fitting/maintaining locks on external windows.
- Fitting/maintaining locks on side or rear gates.
- Fitting/maintaining locks on external garage doors.
- Fitting prikka-strip panels on fencing or walls.
Those classed as vulnerable are entitled to have security devices fitted and preventative work carried out free of charge. Occupants included in this group are:
- Over 70.
- Registered disabled.
- Repeat victims of domestic burglary*.
- Victims of domestic violence.
- Those deemed vulnerable to risk of fall.
- Referrals from Adult Care Services workers along with a range of partner organisations.
* Repeat victim means two or more burglaries in the previous 24 months.
Victims of burglary who do not meet the above criteria but are looking to have repair or remedial work at their property, for example locks changed, can use the Which? Trusted Trader website which affords them the peace of mind that the trader working on their property has been vetted by Trading Standards and Which?
The partnership between Hertfordshire Trading Standards and Which? Trusted Traders provides consumers with the reassurance of knowing the helping hand they turn to has been thoroughly assessed and checked.
Fire safety checks
Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service provide free home fire safety checks. This includes giving fire safety advice, installing smoke alarms where none are fitted, or checking those already in place. If required, further fire safety support is offered from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. To request a free home fire safety check, the easiest way is to complete the online request form. Alternatively you can call 0300 123 4046.
In addition to falls prevention advice, the fitting of small items of equipment to assist in the prevention of falls and some minor safety improvements will also be offered after an appropriate assessment by the HHSS technician. Examples of such work and fitting of equipment are:
- Securing carpet.
- Moving and securing loose cables and wires.
- Clearing inside hallways and rooms, and clearing garden paths of obstacles and clutter.
- Marking the edges of steps (by painting).
- Assess and fit grab/hand rails to facilitate access to front, side or rear doors.
- Replacing light bulbs to ensure rooms are sufficiently well lit.
Where appropriate, a referral into the Falls Liaison Service for an assessment and potential access to a free 10-week strength and balance course can also be made.
For full stair length grab rails and items/work of a larger nature, the technician will make a referral on behalf of the service user to Hertfordshire County Council's social care service.
What HHSS does
- Reduces the number of domestic and distraction burglaries.
- Reduces the opportunities for such burglaries.
- Reduces the fear of crime, especially in relation to burglary, domestic violence and racial harassment.
- Provides safer local communities. Improves home safety and security, particularly for older and vulnerable people.
- Reduces the risk of accident and injuries in the home. Reduces the risk of falling in the home.
- Reduces the risk of harm or damage from fire.
Who provides this service?
The HHSS is an umbrella organisation which includes partners from across the county. These include:
- Hertfordshire County Council.
- Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue.
- Hertfordshire Constabulary.
How to contact HHSS
All HHSS services can be arranged by contacting:
Telephone: 01707 292344
The Herts Home Safety Service is an umbrella organisation which includes partners from across the county. These include: Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hertfordshire Constabulary.
Part of the funding for the scheme has come from money reclaimed under the Proceeds of Crime legislation.
For other handyman services, HertsHelpis a signpost charity service who can be contacted on 0300 123 4044.