Almost all fires in the home can be prevented
Smoke Alarm

To make your home safer and to help reduce casualty and death from fire in the home, Kent Fire and Rescue Service is offering a free home safety visit. The visit involves home fire safety advice from a fire officer and the installation of free smoke alarms, if required. The alarms have batteries that last up to 10 years for added peace of mind.

To arrange a free home safety visit in the Kent area, phone 0800 923 7000. Calls are free from a BT landline, calls from through other companies and mobile phones may cost. Please note that this particular scheme is for the Kent area only. Other UK areas may offer similar schemes.

More fire safety advice is available at

Let's Keep Crime Down
Let's Keep Crime Down

A website has been launched as part of a new national crime prevention initiative called "Let's Keep Crime Down". It has some useful advice about safeguarding your home and family including tips on preventing:

  • Burglary
  • Car crime
  • Robbery
  • Identity theft / identity fraud
Its address is

Stay Safe and Warm This Winter
Buy With Confidence

During the winter months and at Christmas there are plenty of Kent residents busy shopping for seasonal goodies and presents, while also looking to keep their homes safe and warm during the chilly weather. But it’s a season when some Kent residents can be at their most vulnerable, warn Kent Trading Standards.

“You might think winter would be a quiet time for home improvements, but you’d be wrong,” says Sharon Salisbury of Kent Trading Standards. “The trouble for many consumers is finding the right business to help and it can be a bit of a lottery. Although the majority of services are carried out well, unfortunately not everyone is so reliable. Trading Standards spend much of their time dealing with rogue traders who simply don’t deliver the service that they promise unsuspecting consumers – often leaving them out-of-pocket.” Now, help is at hand. Free-to-use and featuring local businesses that you can trust, the Buy With Confidence scheme is run by Kent Trading Standards officers. Businesses are only accepted onto the scheme after a thorough selection process. You’ll find a good selection of local, reliable businesses - all searchable online at – covering a range of trades and services from A to Z. From aerial installation services to locksmiths and plumbers to window installers – all checked, monitored and approved by your local Trading Standards officers. “You’re likely to find a choice of responsible businesses on the Buy With Confidence website or by a simple phone call to us. “And we’re always on the lookout for more good, reliable businesses for the scheme. So if you’re in business and want to apply, or if you want to recommend a business for membership we’d like to hear from you.”

More information and details of members near you are available by calling 08454 04 05 06 or online at

Planning a job or project? Here are some top tips to help avoid the winter blues!

  • Make a plan of what you want to do
  • Short-list businesses you might want to use, including those recommended by the Buy With Confidence scheme and friends and neighbours who you trust
  • Get accurate quotations to help you make your decision
  • Agree on a written contract covering details of the work, costs, payment dates, start/finish dates, guarantees, dispute resolution etc. – not simply a handshake
  • In the unlikely event of things going wrong, you can always turn to Consumer Direct for advice on Tel: 08454 04 05 06. Consumer Direct work in partnership with your local Trading Standards service.
More detailed advice is available at

Buy With Confidence – local businesses approved by Trading Standards 08454 04 05 06