How to stay safe at home

Free resources from two leading charities show how you can keep out of harm’s way at home.

Published this month (April) by Independent Age, Home Safety is a 52-page guide that helps the reader to avoid accidents around their house or flat.

The publication shows people how they can keep themselves from harm by being aware of danger areas and unsafe habits.

Readers can identify some common hazards in their home and get advice on such issues as:

• avoiding falls;
• fire protection;
• electrical safety;
• gas, oil and solid fuel;
• staying safe in the kitchen;
• food safety;
• avoiding floods and scalds;
• managing your medication.

The other resource is Safe At Home: Tips For The Over 65s by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. This 12-page guide offers information on how to cope with the most common accidents around the home:

• how to prevent falls;
• what to do if you’re hurt;
• how to get up after a fall;
• preventing fires;
• how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning;
• preventing scalds and burns;
• avoiding hypothermia;
• home safety checklist.

According to RoSPA, more accidents happen at home than anywhere else. People over 65 – particularly those over 75 – are among those most likely to have an accident at home.

Improved living standards, better healthcare, greater awareness of the importance of a healthy diet and taking regular exercise have led to more and more people enjoying life into their 80s and 90s.

But older people, in particular the frail elderly, are one of the groups of our population most vulnerable to accidents, particularly in and around the home.

Many accidents are attributable wholly or in part to frailty and failing health, said RoSPA. This can lead to failure or slowness to see and avoid risks. By drawing attention to danger spots and unsafe habits, then accidents can be reduced. (Main photo: RoSPA)