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Information for refugees – home and personal safety

General information on keeping yourself and your property and values safe

 

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North Lincolnshire is a safe place to live. However, it is sensible to take precautions to ensure your personal safety, as well as the safety of your home and your possessions.

Home security

The first thing to do to ensure the security of your home is to make sure it can be locked properly. Check that all your windows and doors can be locked securely. Even if you are leaving your house only for a short time, make sure you lock it up.

Here are some other precautions you can take:

  • Obtain house insurance. Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your property, including damage due to fire. Home contents insurance covers you against loss, theft or damage to your personal and home possessions. It can also cover you if you take items out of the home. Make sure you read any terms and conditions carefully.
  • Have an alarm system installed within your home.
  • If you are going away for a few days, ask a neighbour or a friend to watch over your house.
  • Do not leave anything lying around the outside of your house which could be used to break in. Keep ladders, tools and anything which could make access to your home easier stored away.

If you are living in rented accommodation your landlord has a legal responsibility to ensure your home is safe and secure. Email the North Lincolnshire Housing Advice Team on housingadvice@northlincs.gov.uk, or call on 01724 297000 if you have any concerns.

Fire safety

There are a number of precautions you should take in your home to help prevent a fire. For example:

  • Make sure smoke alarms are installed and working. Remember to test them regularly.
  • Plan a fire escape route and know what to do in an emergency. Make sure everybody in your household knows what to do in the event of a fire, including how to call the fire service on 999.
  • Take care with heaters, candles and cigarettes.
  • Minimise the risk of electrical fires. Do not overload adapters with lots of plugs and regularly check for broken plugs and wires.

Credit cards

Be careful when applying for and using a credit card. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Make sure you know about all the charges that apply.
  • Make at least the minimum payment each month, but pay off more if you can. When you do not pay your credit card bill, you can easily fall into debt.
  • Try not to use your credit card to withdraw cash as you will be charged, while making withdrawals using a debit card is normally free.

Identity theft

Identity theft is a risk in the UK. By stealing your personal details as well as your banking details, people can illegally apply for credit cards or shop using your money. It is important that you are careful when using cash machines and filling in forms over the internet.

Cash machines

There are a few things you need to remember when using your credit or debit card at a cash machine to prevent people from copying the details, or from stealing or using your card:

  • Tell the bank straight away if you lose your card or think it has been stolen. They will be able to stop anybody else using your card.
  • Keep your PIN number hidden. When you are required to type in your PIN number at any machine, make sure you do it discretely.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when using a cash machine.

Internet security

Here are some top tips to stay secure online:

  • Make sure you are using a trusted website and check their terms and conditions to see how they will use your details.
  • Use strong passwords for your email, as well as for logons to other websites. Cyber criminals can use your email to access many of your personal accounts, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft. Do not use the same password for multiple accounts or websites.
  • Install the latest software and app updates. Software and app updates contain vital security updates to help protect your devices from cyber criminals.
  • Secure smartphones and tablets with a screen lock. Screen locks offer your devices an important extra layer of security.
  • Always back up your most important data. Safeguard your most important data, such as your photos and key documents, by backing them up to an external hard drive or a cloud-based storage system.

Vehicle safety

There are a number of precautions you can take in order to keep your vehicle safe when you are not using it.

Car security Bicycle security
Always lock your car doors and close the windows. Always lock your bicycle up with a chain and padlock, or special bike lock.
Do not leave anything on display that could attract thieves. Take all removeable items with you, for example your helmet.
Do not keep your car documents in the car, put them in a safe place at home Take a note of the model and make of your bike. Use an ultraviolet marker to write your postcode on your bike. These pens are not expensive and are available from most hardware stores.

Summary

North Lincolnshire is a relatively safe place, although there are precautions you can take to keep you, your family, your home and your possessions safe.