Who remembers this road safety campaign? You might have seen it on roadside signs, in the toilets at motorway services and in the print media. Although it’s an older safety campaign the message is still very relevant today, and not just for road safety.
Good lighting around the home is often an afterthought, especially as we go from summer into autumn and the nights start drawing in. For people with poor eyesight or coordination problems lighting inside the home is a must. It’s also vital for people living with dementia or other cognitive impairments who may see shadows and dark areas as holes they could fall in to. For the rest of us, it’s also important because absolutely anyone can trip over a trailing cable or the edge of a rug if the lighting is not good enough. After months of long, light evenings where we don’t need to use the outdoor lights, broken bulbs can easily be missed and areas where the lighting could be improved is overlooked..
Outdoor lighting is not just for our own safety though, it also adds a layer of home security. Burglars love dark alleys and places where they can hide, so if you have dark areas around your home you’re almost putting a sign up saying “burglars – hide here!”. You can remove this temptation very easily by installing motion activated lighting. This will trigger bright lights when a burglar (or indeed a member of your household) is walking around outside the property. For the household members this means being able to see where they’re going if they’re putting the bins out late at night, but for a burglar this means they can’t creep about undetected as they will be seen.
For women, who are sadly more at risk of assault on the street, good lighting outside the home can mean the difference between staying safe and becoming the victim of a traumatic crime. Having no lighting in the porch or on the approach to the property means a criminal could lay in wait for someone to come home and catch them by surprise. As many women will already have their keys in hand before they approach the front door (because searching for them in a handbag means you’re distracted and therefore vulnerable) an attacker could easily open the front door and drag his victim inside to carry on the assault in private. The same danger is present for children and the elderly or disabled, who may not be able to defend themselves against a violent criminal.
We don’t want to scare anyone, but we do want to make you consider all the risks of not having adequate lighting around your home, both inside and out. We want to remind you to put these tasks to the top of your ‘to do’ list and get them sorted before the nights really start getting dark; Being reminded to do this job because someone tripped over a broken paving slab because they couldn’t see it in the dark, or because one of your nearest and dearest was attacked in a dark corner on your property would be awful, wouldn’t it. Don’t let a lack of lighting become traumatic, get this job sorted this weekend. Once it’s done, you’ll have a greater sense of calm and you won’t mind so much if you have to put the bins out late at night.