Tips for VIPs: Safety and security

Posted: Tuesday 07 August 2018

In our previous edition of Sideview, you shared your tips on travel and transport as a visually impaired person (VIP). This time we asked you for your advice on staying safe and secure. Here are your top four. 

Around the house

Get into the habit of putting things back where they belong, and encourage other people to do the same.

To avoid banging your head on open cupboard doors, put your arm across in front of your face, with the palm turned outwards. 

Keep small items in trays or baskets so they’re less likely to be knocked onto the floor as you look for them.

Your local council may be able to suggest adaptations to make your house safer. Speak to your GP or ophthalmologist about registering as sight impaired, or ask the local authority or your optician for a Low Vision Leaflet.

Out and about

When going down stairs, place your heel against the riser of the previous step before stepping down.

Wear light-coloured shoes so you can see where your feet are.

Avoiding scams

Be on your guard whenever you receive an unsolicited telephone call. Fraudsters may claim to be from your bank or phone company, Microsoft, an investment company or conducting a short survey. Be cautious and never give any financial or personal information. If in doubt, hang up. 

Crooks may pretend to be from the police, electricity, gas or water board. Rogue traders may offer to repair your roof or prune trees and hedges. Be on your guard and don’t let them enter your property, especially if you are on your own. 

If you do suspect a fraud – from a bogus tradesman to someone selling items online that never arrive, report it to the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre at or by calling 0300 123 2040. 

Big, bright and bold

Place things you may need during the night on a luminous place mat. They absorb light during the day and emit a soft, longlasting glow at night. 

To make navigating easier in low light, place lamps in dark corners. Use timed switches to automatically turn them on for a few hours as darkness falls and again just before you get up. Make sure lampshades are heat-proof!

Or install motion-sensitive lights on stairs or hallways so you don’t have to find the switches.