Shropshire Handyperson Service – the Home Improvements Agency, working in partnership with Shropshire Council, is running a campaign this year to highlight small improvements that can be made to improve home safety and security.
Eligible Shropshire residents are being offered free home safety or security checks by a trained operative which will highlight minor improvements that can make a big difference to their home and possibly their lives.
What does it involve?
The Home Safety Check will involve checking smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors (free batteries will be supplied where necessary), leads and wires around the home, whether handrails or grab rails are needed or if there are potential outside hazards among other things, to help reduce the likelihood of accidents in the home. The Home Security Check involves an examination of doors and windows, and covers advice on items such as door chains and key safes to help prevent crime and make residents feel safer in their own homes. A visit lasts 30 minutes and the resident will be left with advice on what work can be done. All the operatives are CRB checked, offering extra reassurance.
Who is this for?
This service is offered to residents of Shropshire who feel they are unable to do this themselves, particularly older, vulnerable or disabled people. The Shropshire Handyperson Service is able to help or advise all residents who feel they need this service.
A Good News Story
Mrs H, from Church Stretton recently called on the Home Improvements Service after she had a blocked kitchen sink. She was thrilled that the team managed to rectify the problem on the same day, and was interested when they told her about the free home safety and security checks. She said “For someone like myself, who lives alone, this service would be greatly appreciated. They offer me free advice on what can be done to improve my home and if I agree then they will carry out the work. As part of the check they also offered me free batteries for my smoke alarm which I thought was very useful. This kind of service restores my faith in mankind!”
John Simcox, Shrewsbury Branch Manager said “This totally genuine offer is part of our giving back to the community and people of Shropshire and we want as many residents as possible to take this up. We want to make a real difference and help people be more aware. The check and advice are free and there is no obligation whatsoever.
The idea to issue free batteries as part of the survey was inspired by my mother. She recently moved into sheltered housing and, as part of the marketing of her property, we had a number of trades people and experts to check varying things. A qualified gas engineer condemned the gas fire and had asked if the previous occupier had died from carbon monoxide poisoning as the level of emissions was dangerously high. I informed my mother, who replied in all innocence “Well I had a carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarms fitted”. When I then asked why it had not been activated, she said “Oh, I took the battery out because it was beeping and was getting on my nerves. I forgot to replace it”. It’s as simple as that – and if my mother has done it, how many others are in the same position? So, if we can save one life or help one person from this then this exercise will be so worthwhile”.
Who to contact
To find out more, or to book a free home safety or security check by the council-appointed Home Improvements Service, call their friendly team on 01743 458347.