Your home is meant to be a sanctuary of safety; a peaceful haven that you can retreat to when times get tough. However, you may be surprised to learn that accidents in the home account for around 6,000 deaths each year.
Occurring more frequently than anywhere else, more than two million children under the age of 15 are taken to accident and emergency units around the UK every year following accidents in the home.
So, as National Home Security Month (NHSM) is upon us, it is the ideal time to raise awareness of 3 common accidents in homes across Britain and how you can proactively avoid them.
3 common accidents at home
Firstly, when looking at statistics (numbers of falls from windows) it is important not to just be at the tip of the iceberg, but to dig down to find what these falls are, 1. are these falls from falling out of open windows into the external environment (outside the building) or falls from sitting on a window ledge falling internally inside the building or falling through the glass of a window.
It is important to have an understanding of the real picture and of the full age spectrum too (0-100). Children under 5 are one of the most accident-prone age groups around, with over 4,000 children under the age of 15 injured each year by falling from insecure windows in the home. Most parents believe that falls from windows are ‘freak accidents’, but these statistics prove just how dangerous taking this stance can be.
Falls are amongst the most common accidents that can occur in the home, with serious potential for the worst injury possible when falls happen from a great height. Most prevalent amongst young children and the elderly falls are most likely to happen on the stairs, windows and from balconies.
British homeowners are always looking for ways to increase and enhance the space within their homes, which has led to increased use of glass throughout homes right across the UK. Of course, this increases the chance of glass-related injury in the home, where every year children regrettably die following accidents with architectural glass that could have easily been avoided with the right safeguards in place.
How to avoid window-related accidents in the home
The majority of accidents take place in the lounge/living room than anywhere else in the home, therefore it seems a logical place to start accident proofing your property. With children under 5 and adults over 65 most likely to injure themselves in the home, here are some key ways to avoid window-related accidents in the home:
- Always supervise children and vulnerable adults, keeping them away from windows
- Refrain from placing anything under windows that can be used to climb on
- Put exposed or dangling window cords out of reach
- For replacement windows, use safety glass that has passed BS 6206 / BS EN 12600 impact tests
- Fit child resistant window restrictors that have been designed and manufactured to ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management, as well as rigorous testing to BS EN14351-1:2006 and BS EN13126-5:2011 standards.