Household injuries are at an all-time high: according to Injury Facts 2017, approximately 146,571 people died from unintentional injury-related deaths in 2015. Household injuries and deaths can take many forms, but share the common characteristic of being preventable. Having an understanding of where these injuries commonly arise, and how to prevent them, can protect you and your family from the most common dangers in your home – and may even save a life.
Household injuries are commonly caused by:
- Electrical hazards
- Slip and fall hazards
- Tripping hazards
- Chemical poisonings
- Choking hazards
- 1.6 million older adults were treated in U.S. emergency departments for unintentional fall-related injuries and 388,000 of these patients were subsequently hospitalized
- 47 percent of households in the US with children under 5 years old had a pesticide stored in an unlocked cabinet within reach of a child
- 400,000 residential fires each year result in $7 billion in property damage and 3,000 deaths.
Actions You Can Take
- Install smoke detectors. One on each floor and outside of bedrooms. Check your local fire department to see about obtaining free smoke detectors.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors. One outside of bedrooms and one on the main level of the house.
- Store poisonous chemicals in a child-proof cabinet (safety latches). Anything with Caution, Warning, or Danger on the label needs to be away from your children.
- Store weapons and ammunition separately. Ammunition should be locked up so that kids cannot access.
- Prevent slips, trips and falls by keeping floors in repair and clear of anything that may cause tripping. Install senior fall prevention measures where appropriate.
- Top Causes of Unintentional Injury and Death in Homes and Communities. (2018). Retrieved April 6, 2018, from http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/safety-at-home.aspx
- About Home Safety. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/healthy_homes/healthyhomes/homesafety
- About Home Safety. Ibid.
- Home Safety [Pamphlet]. (n.d.). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).