How safe is your home?
10 of the most common home safety hazards and how to safeguard against them.
Remember the old adage: most accidents happen in the home? Well, they do, and some of the dangers are hiding in plain sight.
Injuries in the home accounted for almost a third of people admitted to hospital in Victoria in 2019-2020 and almost half of those who attended a hospital emergency department.
Hospital admissions data from the Monash University Accident Research Centre’s Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit showed that injuries at home were most likely to occur outdoors (almost 17 per cent) followed by the bathroom (almost 9 per cent), bedroom (7 per cent) and kitchen (7 per cent). Falls were by far the most common cause of injury, accounting for 72 per cent of all home-related hospital admissions. Of fall-related accidents, 71 per cent involved the elderly aged 65 and above.
The good news is that dangers around the home can be easily eliminated with a bit of common sense. Nathan Tayeh from RACV Home Trades & Services says although safety isn’t always top of mind, taking the time to fix a hazard could prevent a simple accident that might impact the rest of your life.
He suggests taking a good look around the house to identify any risks, from an uneven footpath to an old smoke alarm that’s stopped working. “It’s important just to have a look and think about how removing a simple risk could save an accident from occurring.”
He says extra care is needed if you have young children or elderly family members, who are more vulnerable to accidents in the home. If you’re not sure what to look for, RACV can arrange a property inspection to identify any hazards.
“Sometimes the trained eye of a professional can identify hazards that we can’t see. Trained professionals can educate us on hazards and most importantly can provide a recommendation on how to resolve them.”
Your home may not be the haven you think it is. Here are some of the dangers and how to fix them.