Home repairs

You spend a lot of time at home and it requires regular checking and upkeep so it remains secure, warm and comfortable to live in.

Essential safety checks

  • Get your gas appliances checked every 12 months by a registered engineer
  • Ensure your fire alarm works and check the batteries regularly 
  • Consider installing a carbon monoxide alarm.

Some fire and rescue services provide free fire risk checks and may be able to install your smoke alarm free of charge. Contact your local fire service to find details of services in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Home maintenance checklist

  • Don’t use electrical appliances that have exposed wires or faults - they can be unsafe.
  • Make sure your window frames and locks are intact and secure.
  • Check you have adequate lighting especially in the kitchen, hall and on stairways. Remember, allow a little time for the low energy bulbs to fully light up.
  • Keep carpets secured and clutter to a minimum to avoid trips or falls.
  • Get your guttering checked and cleared every few years to prevent leaks and damp. Window cleaners will often do this for a small fee.

Finding a reliable tradesmen

You may be able to do some simple jobs yourself or with help from a friend or family member. For other tasks you’ll need a qualified tradesperson. Here’s how to find one:

Local council

Your local authority should be your first port of call as many have a local trader scheme with a list of approved contractors.

Care & Repair Agency (C&RA) or Home Improvement Agencies (HIA)

Care & Repair Agency (C&RA) or Home Improvement Agencies (HIA)These are not-for-profit organisations that help older or disabled people maintain and adapt their homes. Some also offer a handy person service. Find out how to get in touch with your local agency in the useful contacts section.

Maintaining your garden

If you are over 60 years old, have limited mobility or find it difficult to keep your garden maintained, you may be able to get support from your council or local support groups. Contact your local authority to find out how they can help.

Container planting or using raised beds are great ways to carry on gardening if you find it difficult to bend down. There are also a wide range of adapted garden tools to allow you to keep you growing your own plants and vegetables. For more information visit the Safe Gardening website

Garden safety

  • Ensure your paths are clear.
  • Clean moss or slippery leaves from paths or paved areas.
  • Lock your tools away once you have finished using them.
  • Ensure all garden machinery is fitted with a trip switch.
  • Get help when doing big jobs or using a ladder.

Make your home safe and secure

Here's a list of some of the things you can do to improve the security in and around your home:

  • Install sturdy locks on windows and doors.
  • Don’t hide keys under plant pots or doormats. Give a key to a trusted neighbour, friend or relative instead.
  • Consider installing an alarm system or movement-sensitive lighting outside your property.
  • Work with your neighbours to keep an eye on each other’s homes.
For a full list of security tips and advice from police initiative Secured by Design.

Print this page to give to someone you know or use the share button on the right of this page.

What's in your area

If you or a family member, friend or neighbour would like to join in with local clubs and activities or need support from our services then find out how Royal Voluntary Service can help.

What we do

Make a donation to Royal Voluntary Service 

Your regular gift will help us provide more services, recruit more volunteers and strengthen our communities.

Set up a regular donation