The old saying goes that our home is our palace but sometimes, things can and do go wrong. In fact, more accidents and injuries happen in the home than anywhere else. Most at risk are elderly people and children with the total annual cost of home accident casualties amounting to an average cost of £16,900 per victim. I thought it will be worth writing about it, to let you gus know how to improve your home security. It is very important, and many people just forget about it.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about home safety and how to safeguard your palace and your family.
- In 2010-11 figures collected by the UK Statistics Authority, 37% of house fire fatalities happened in homes without a smoke alarm and a further 25% occurred when a smoke alarm was present but didn’t work.
Ensure you have a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide, commonly known as the Silent Killer, kills around 50 people each year and is most commonly caused by faulty household appliances. Create a fire plan and be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Cash, wallets and purses are the main targets in property crime.
Where possible, store expensive items out of sight. Keep valuables in your child’s drawers or cabinets– many thieves will look through the main areas of the house but leave children’s rooms untouched.
- Computers and electrical equipment were the next most popular items stolen in a domestic burglary.
Don’t leave your discarded electronics boxes on display. When disposing of them, cut them into small pieces so they fit in your bins or take them to a recycling collection point yourself.
- There were 35,000 reports of burglary made to police in March 2015 across England.
Keep your car keys by your bed. If you hear a suspicious noise during the night and believe you are the victim of a break-in, press the alarm button on your keys. This will cause the alarm to go off and the burglar will most likely run away.
- More than 40% of break-ins happen without the use of force.
Always lock your doors and windows. Don’t leave a spare key under a doormat or plant pot. Instead, give a spare key to a neighbour or better still, put it into a combination lock box and hide it somewhere.
- More than 2 million children attend A&E departments as the result of a home accident, each year.
Slips, trips and falls are the most common. Put a swimming float noodle under a fitted sheet. It will act as a barrier to stop young children falling out of bed in the night.
- Electricity is a major cause of accidental fire in the UK.
Make sure you have your appliances tested and serviced regularly by somebody who is completely competent.
Tidy away any electrical cables to avoid a tripping hazard and childproof your electrical sockets. As a quick fix, put a plaster over the holes so little fingers can’t get in.
- Falls are the most frequent and serious type of accident for people aged 65 or over.
Check the house for potential hazards. Ensure any polished floors (such as in a bathroom) are protected with secure rugs and mats. Change lightbulbs in dimly lit areas and ask for help when reaching into storage areas.
Check on elderly neighbours and family members, some may be eligible for a home hazard assessment. Make sure they stay active to improve strength and balance.
- Poisoning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury across Europe. More than 90% of all poisonings occur within the home environment.
Many common household products can poison children such as medicines, cosmetics, plants and cleaning supplies.
Keep household products out of the reach of children and install safety locks on cupboards and medicine cabinets. Keep house plants out of reach – even if they aren’t poisonous, children could choke on them. Be aware of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning as this children and pets could be the some of the first to display symptoms.
- 48% of the UK adult population have been targeted by a scam, with 3.2 million people falling victim to them each year.
Take extra safety precautions when dealing with unknown people. Look through your door viewer or your front window before opening the door. Every reputable tradesman should carry photo ID, so don’t be afraid to ask to see it. If in doubt, don’t deal with them.
For people on the phone, ask for their ID number and call the genuine customer services team to confirm it.