Currently, accidents at home are estimated to account for as much as 77% of all accidents. This figure is obviously skewed slightly by the fact that people generally spend most of their time at home; however, even taking this into account, we still find that the home is an inordinately dangerous place: about 1 in 17 people each year will suffer an injury caused by an accident in the home. A fatal injury in the home occurs approximately once every 14 minutes; for non-fatal injuries, the figure is once every 4 seconds.
How, then, can the home be made safer, in a manner that is quick and practical? Firstly, falls are the most common cause of injuries in the home; the majority of these take place on the stairs. Use non-slip rugs and carpeting, particularly in high-risk areas such as staircases and bathrooms. If you have children, a childgate is a good investment; is inexpensive and provides a huge amount of security – it is well worth it for the minor inconvenience of having to open and shut it each time you go up or down the stairs. On that note, it also advisable to buy soft furniture, with rounded edges, where possible. Children are bound to fall down – that’s unavoidable – but at least you can ensure minimum injury when they do.
For children, however, a greater danger of death comes from poisoning. Keep medicines, as well as other potentially poisonous products such as bleach, out of reach and/or under lock.
Additionally – this cannot be stressed enough – buy smoke detectors and check their batteries regularly. Yes, it’s annoying when they go off when they shouldn’t, but it’s worth it. There is a domestic fire every 8 minutes in the UK. There is a reason for all of those fire safety adverts.
Finally, you can avoid a lot of accidents by simply being careful. Don’t run up and down the stairs. Definitely don’t slide down the banisters. Clean up spillages immediately. Don’t carry more than you can handle. Turn off the electricity before doing things like changing lightbulbs. Remember the advice in this article, and remain safe in the home.