Home Safety UK- The Problem.
Government statistics show that there are about 2.8 million accidents in the home every year, where the victim visits an Accident and Emergency department for treatment. In addition, an almost identical number of casualties are treated by their own GP and millions of minor cases are treated at home.
However, because the accidents happen behind closed doors in isolated incidents, they seldom attract public and media attention.
Every year there are over 3,000 deaths in the UK caused by home accidents – more than on the roads! More than a third of all accidents to adults take place in the home, which is the largest single cause of accidents in this country.
Annually almost a million children under the age of 15 attend hospital for treatment following an accident in the home.
Around 1500 over 65’s suffer fatal injuries following a fall in the home.
A significant reduction in home accidents will not only alleviate unnecessary pain and suffering, but will also have a major impact on the workload of Hospital Accident and Emergency Units, Social Services, Fire Brigades etc, thus releasing resources for other work.
There is a relatively high involvement of people’s behaviour in home accidents. Behaviour was involved in 24.7% of fatalities, 35.1% of serious injuries and 44.8% of non-serious injury.
Product faults alone, only accounts for between 0.4% and 1.6% of home accidents and most of the faults are due to a lack of servicing and maintenance.
The main behavioural elements involved in the cause of home accidents are:-
- Alcohol related.
- Undertaking a dangerous action e.g. climbing trees, walls, fences or on roof etc.
- Leaving inappropriate items e.g. medicines, knives, matches, within reach of children.
- Smoking related incidents.
- Working on a ladder or stepladder.
- The result of a careless action by another person.
Top Tips For Home Safety UK
- Have gas, oil or solid fuel heating appliances professionally serviced once a year to reduce the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, due to faulty flues or equipment. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly.
- Develop a fire escape plan for your family that identifies two exits out of every room and where to meet outside. Practice makes perfect – hold a family fire drill at least twice each year.
- Always stay in the kitchen while food is cooking on the stove. Avoid burns and scalds, particularly to children, by always using the back burner on the cooker or hotplate first and position pan handles so that they can’t be pulled over. Always keep hot drinks out of the reach of children.
- Avoid trips, slips and falls by ensuring halls & stairways are always well lit and free from clutter and immediately clean up any spillages.
- Install handles or rails and use a non-slip mat or adhesive safety strips in the bath and shower.
- List emergency numbers next to your home phone.
- Prevent poisoning or chemical burns by storing medicines and household chemicals out of sight and reach of children, preferably in a secure, high-level kitchen cupboard.
- Avoid scalds by running cold water before hot and carefully testing water temperature, particularly before bathing children who should never be left unattended there.
- Install four-sided fencing with self-locking, self-closing gates around any pools. The Fencing should completely isolate the pool from the home and be at least five feet high.
- Constantly supervise children in or near water such as pools, ponds, bathtubs and buckets.
Follow a night-time fire home safety routine to help you increase safety in the home. Here are a few things you should do every night:-
- Switch off all electrical appliances not designed to stay on.
- Make sure ashtray contents are cooled before emptying.
- Check soft furnishing where people have been smoking.
- Switch off portable heaters.
- Fit a spark guard to open fires.
- Close the doors to all rooms.
- Check that door and window keys and locks are easily accessible.
Householders need to be aware of accident prevention measures and encouraged to establish home safety.
To help achieve this, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) have produced a common sense guide to home safety, in the form of ‘Home and Garden Safety Checklists’.
These are also available as a free download in PDF format (size 32kb), to be used as either a document in its own right, or included in promotional articles, tenants handbooks, welcome packs or as training material..Here:- ROSPA Home Safety Advice