Safer Autumn


New Web stay safe autumn 2013Top tips on making sure you keep yourself and others safe this autumn


Be prepared for driving on the roads this Autumn.

Low sun can cause problems for motorists, rising later each morning and setting earlier each evening, can be distracting when it’s in the ‘wrong’ place. Therefore always ensure your windscreen is clean, wear sunglasses and to be on the safe side adjust your speed accordingly.

Heavy rain can be a hazard as the weather worsens throughout autumn. Use your headlights if visibility is poor and slow right down. This helps to maintain safe stopping distances, avoids the car sliding uncontrollably and prevents accidents. Remember to check your brakes after driving through large puddles.

Slippery autumn leaves can cause problems on the roads and streets. Remember to give yourself extra stopping time on the roads and try to an eye on pavement conditions to avoid slipping and falling.

Animals on the move as the autumn approaches can bring new hazards including drivers swerving to avoid creatures of all sizes, keep your eyes on the road and adjust your speed accordingly.

Darker evenings highlight the need to stay visible when you are out and about, whether on foot or bike. Wear bright, reflective clothing and remember if you are on a bike it is a legal requirement to fit reflectors and lights.

Be Safe this Halloween. It is good to have fun but for some this can be a worrying time for parents and others, particularly vulnerable people.

Keep everyone safe by:

  • Never letting young children go trick or treating on their own.
  • Ensuring children only visit people known to the family.
  • Setting guidelines for young people: to stay in a group and never go into the home of someone they don’t know; to leave a property where the ‘no trick or treat’ sign is displayed; not to use alcohol, flour or eggs and understand that they must not frighten people.
  • For more infomation 

Enjoy fireworks responsibly. They can be as beautiful as they can be dangerous, so for everyone’s safety ensure:

  • Children are supervised and never given sparklers under the age of 5.
  • Only buy fireworks from a reputable retailer and prepare in advance during daylight.
  • Follow the instructions carefully on the use of each type of firework.
  • Use eye protection and gloves and have a bucket of water nearby.

Be aware that it is illegal to:

  • Let fireworks off between 11pm and 7am except on Bonfire Night (midnight), Diwali, New Year and Chinese New Year (1am)
  • For anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in a public place
  • Sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18

More information Bonfires and fireworks safety 

Crime prevention tips for ensuring you and your property our safe and secure include:

  • Avoid leaving keys and valuables on display near doors or windows.
  • Always lock windows and doors before you go out or go to bed.
  • Store bins and gardening equipment securely so they can’t be used to break into your house.
    • Lock away valuable garden equipment and secure your shed.
  • Use timer switches to turn lights on and off if you go away, to give the illusion someone is home.
  • Consider fitting intruder alarms, door chains, a spy hole and external lights.
    • Security mark valuable items and keep receipts somewhere safe.
  • Always check the ID of cold callers – consider fitting a door chain or spy hole

More information and leaflets on crime prevention/Halloween/Fireworks

Be prepared for cold weather as exposure to cold temperatures, whether indoors or outdoors, can cause serious or life threatening health problems. Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk, but anyone can be affected.

Ensure your chimney has been swept if you intending using it, as a build up of soot can lead to a chimney fires which present a serious risk to your home and family.

Regularly check for worn or frayed electrical wires and do not use if damaged. Remember that using space heaters and fireplaces can increase the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Take time out to check and replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Beware of counterfeit goods at Christmas
Fake goods are illegal copies of products, and are also known as ‘counterfeit’ or ‘pirated’ goods.  Counterfeit products take many forms, including clothing, DVDs, perfume and jewellery. Car parts, tyres, tools, electrical goods, batteries and children’s toys are also copied.

These products may seem like a bargain or you may be unfortunate enough to have been duped into paying the retail price for what you believed was a genuine item.

Why shouldn’t you buy counterfeit goods?
Counterfeit products may be poor quality, faulty or unsafe to use. Sales of fake goods can fund organised crime, such as drug dealing, human trafficking and prostitution. They can also provide an additional, undeclared income to benefit cheats.

How to spot them
Price, place and packaging are all indicators of whether something is genuine, and supermarkets, well-known retailers and brand-name websites are much less likely to sell fakes. But a vast range of products for sale in the street, in temporary shops, markets or online could be counterfeit.

Read our tips on how to spot counterfeit goods

How to report counterfeit goods
If you require advice or want to make a complaint and would like a response, please contact a consumer helpline advisor on 08454 04 05 06.

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