Safety tips for Home Helpers

If you’ve not worked on your own before and in someone else’s home then it’s worth having a read through our list of things to be aware of for your own wellbeing and protection. 

1. Know who you’re meeting

Make sure you read your client’s profile and make contact over the phone, if possible, before meeting in person. 

2. Meet for the first time in a public space or with a friend

Meeting anybody new for the first time in their own home can be intimidating – we suggest that your first meeting with a new client should be in a public space, if possible or consider taking a friend along with you. 

3. Be prepared

Before you set off to meet your client in their home, give some thought as to what your exit strategies might be if you felt uncomfortable or threatened for any reason. Make sure you’ve planned the route there beforehand and familiarise yourself with the area. 

4. Tell a friend where you are 

Always tell a friend or loved one where you’ll be and what time you expect to be home. Consider asking them to call you 10 minutes into any meeting with a new client to check that you are ok. It also helps to have a predetermined code word ready in case you want to summon help.

5. Trust your instincts

If you feel uncomfortable about anything or you feel unsafe then make your excuses, text a friend and follow your exit plan. Don’t regret not ‘listening to your gut feeling’. If something feels off, it often is.

6. Make a mini risk assessment

Be alert and aware of your surroundings. Scan your eyes over the space and make a quick risk assessment to help you decide how safe a situation is and what action you should take to avoid danger. 

7. Keep friends in the loop

If anything changes regarding your whereabouts during the course of the day, perhaps you’re asked to accompany your client on a trip out of the house for example, then keep your friend posted.

8. In Case of Emergency (ICE)

Lastly, consider saving a relative or friend’s number under ‘ICE’ on your mobile phone. In Case of Emergency (ICE) is a scheme that enables first responders such as paramedics or the police access to next of kin details on your phone.  If you have a passcode on your phone, another option is to create a screen saver with emergency contact details.