Could Your Home be Safer?
People often overlook simple safety features in the home. In this article, we take a look at how people could make their homes safer with big and small changes.
More accidents happen in the home than anywhere else, with RoSPA figures highlighting a shocking 6,000 deaths a year as a result. From falls to DIY disasters, how can you make your home safer?
Again, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) tells us that statistically, falls are the most common accident in the home.
Falls and trips are not just confined to a certain age group either although we tend to associate this kind of accidents with the elderly and the young.
Falls happen when;
- Floors are uneven
- There are several trip hazards or clutter on the floor
- When there is a change in floor level such as a step up or down.
Preventing falls can be done in many ways;
- Stairgates to stop babies and small children clambering upstairs or downstairs unsupervised
- Handrails are essential when there is a change in floor level or uneven floors
- Non-slip pads under rugs are a great way of preventing rugs from curling at the edge and becoming a trip hazard
A common accident in the home is falling down stairs. With disastrous consequences, preventing a fall of this kind is essential. As well as making sure the stairs are kept clear of toys and other items, a handrail is essential.
But just because something is essential doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. For example, a glass handrail is perfect for anyone to grab hold off and is a stylish safety feature in the home.
Falling is an accident that can happen to anyone. But according to RoSPA figures, it is the accident that causes children and young people to be severely hurt. Every year, 4,200 children are hurt as a result of falls on the stairs! 4,000 children under the age of 15 hurt every year falling from a window.
A scald is a burn caused by hot fluid falling onto the skin. Although we see hot water as essential for the home – for bathing, showering, washing up and cleaning etc. – if hot water from a tap is too hot, it can blister the skin.
Again, there are safety features that can be added to hot water taps that prevent the water from becoming too hot. This gadget is fitted to a tap, bath or shower and prevents accidental scalding.
When young children are in the home, keeping hot drinks on higher worktops and surfaces prevents scalding too.
WINDOWS AND PATIO DOORS
We have already seen how children are at risk of falls on stairs and out of windows, with some 4,000 or more children and young people being admitted to A&E units across the country for treatment for their injuries. In a small number of cases, injuries can be fatal.
Balustrades are important safety features. They can be used in and outside the home to prevent accidental falls from landing, balconies and in some cases, from upstairs windows too.
Stylish safety features are a possibility, no matter what style of home interior you opt for. Glass balustrades are minimal and are ideal for use in the family home. Not only are they tough and robust, they are easy to keep clean too.
They can be used on internal and external staircases, patios and decking.
PONDS AND POOLS
Increasingly common in the UK, the backyard semi-permanent swimming pool is a family favourite during the hot summer months. And with more of us wanting to encourage more wildlife into the garden too, many of us are enjoying the gentle running of water in a waterfall and pond.
But they present a drowning hazard to young children, wildlife and your pets too. In warmer countries, there have long been laws relating to fencing around swimming pools. But in the UK, we are yet to take steps to make fencing compulsory.
However, to make your swimming pool and/or pond safer, a glass balustrade complete with matching entrance is a great way of creating a safe, unclimbable zone around your pond or pool.
There are many other hazards and risks in the home, from cleaning materials to fire hazards and more. By being aware of what they are and taking evasive action, you can keep your home safer, no matter who lives there.