Living in Andalucía - Safety Considerations

Safety Considerations

Andalucia is a generally safe place to live. However, the particular building style and materials used make for specific security issues you should evaluate when moving to a new home here.

Depending upon your personal situation, there may be several safety considerations to keep in mind. The family with small children or elderly or handicapped members needs to pay attention to some or all of the following issues, while others are valid for any age and are simply things to consider when looking for a home.

Examine any Terraces

Terraces are an integral part of most Andalusian homes and accidents do appear in the local news from time to time. Check to ensure that a terrace has strong, sturdy railings with the bars close enough together so that a small child cannot fit through or under them. Look at the height of the railing or side walls of the terrace as well - it should be about to your waist or slightly above (it is too easy to bend over too far if the wall or railing does not hold you back because it is too low).

 

Windows and Doors

Windows also should be at about that height or have safety bars, especially above the first floor, if there are any children about. Consider any locking doors at well. Locking "Puertas Blindadas" - or reinforced doors - are common installations in this area: is it easy to be locked out? (For example, an automatically locking door could blow closed unexpectedly in a gust of wind, locking you out.) Also, remember that the traditional bars on windows and doors can keep intruders out, but can keep you out too should you be locked out.

 

Stairs

Watch for stairs; are they steep? Do they have sturdy railings to hang on to if someone loses their footing? What kind of tile or other material has been used for the staircase? Tiles are the most commonly used building material for stairs in this region and they can be extremely slippery when it rains. You may need to add rough adhesive strips (available in larger hardware stores) and take special care to not wax the surface if it is naturally slippery. Ramps also should have a somewhat rough surface.

 

Other Slippery Areas

In places like bathrooms or outdoor patios, where the floor gets wet often, it is easy for anyone to slip on a slick surface; you should carefully inspect the flooring to be sure it won't be a potential danger. An area rug can help too (if the rug slips around, on a tile surface, you can buy a rubbery mesh to put underneath it, fixing its location without any adhesive). Rough stickers or mats in the shower or bathtub to prevent slipperiness can be used also, but you may want to consider installing a handle or support on the wall as well, to provide something to grip on to if needed.

 

 

Gardens and Pools

Now look at the private or community garden areas. Are they fully enclosed, so a small child cannot get lost or out to the street? Do cars come in to park in their spaces or garages via these garden areas, or is the car entrance completely separate? You will want to check, if there is a pool or jacuzzi, that you block off access to it in such a way that children (your own or guests´) cannot access it with out an adult.

 


Access

And lastly, regarding security; how easy is it to access your house or apartment? Does someone have to ring more than one doorbell before they are actually at your door? Can you see who is at the door before opening the door? Can you at least speak over an answer-phone to whoever rings the bell before opening? People with small children and women who live alone should keep these considerations in mind, as well as good lighting in areas such as garages, elevators, and near the door or other entrances.

Get to know your new home and neighbours - and always be aware of your own safety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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