Although accidents and injuries occur in any environment, the home is more prone to instances of injury than any other environment.
There are thee main categories of home accidents, namely:
- Impact accidents, including falls, being injured by falling objects and general “bumping into” type of accidents
- Heat accidents, including burns and scalds
- Ingestion accidents, including accidents obtained through mouth and foreign body ingestion of for example, poisons, choking, suffocation and objects inserted in the eye, ear or nose.
Most accidents and injuries can be prevented and it is important to take preventative steps to secure your home from unnecessary incidents. Elderly people and children are most vulnerable to injury.
Fires start suddenly and spread rapidly, causing massive damage to your home and could lead to serious injury if preventative measures are not established.
- Keep all heaters and fires (especially open fires) well guarded. Position portable heaters, candles and primus stoves away from flammable materials such as furniture and curtains
- Never dry clothes over or near a fire
- For both health and safety reasons, never smoke in bed
- The kitchen is most prone to fire accidents and it is imperative to never leave a pan unattended especially when using cooking oil
- Keep matches and lighters well out of the children’s reach
- Have an escape plan for every eventuality and be sure your family knows what to do in case of a fire emergency.
Despite it being of immense use to our daily lives, electricity should always be respected as a dangerous ally in the functioning of our homes.
- Check your wiring installation at least once every five years by an approved electrician and never use appliances with worn or damaged wiring
- Keep electricity out of the bathroom and away from taps and other sources of water
- Install a RCD (residual current device) and refrain from overloading an electric socket.
Preventing suffocation, choking and poisoning
All chemical materials, medicinal or household, should always be treated with caution.
- Have a lockable cabinet installed in an area where it is easily supervised
- Keep medicines in their original containers and never use other people’s medicine
- Discard of unused medicines by taking it to your pharmacist for destruction
- Always keep medicines, chemical and cleaning products out of the reach of children
- Always have the number of your local poison control centre and hospital at hand.
A child can drown silently and suddenly in as little as two inches of water. The sad thing is that drowning is often a preventable accident.
- Never leave buckets of water around the house or a child unattended in the bathtub
- Always supervise swimming activity even in small inflatable pools. Be sure to empty these after use
- Install self-closing and self-latching gates leading to a permanent pool
- Use a pool net.
It is imperative to have at the very least basic first-aid skills and have a well stocked first-aid kit located in an area where family members with first aid knowledge can easily access it.
However, prevention is the key to lessen the number of injuries at home.
Our Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP) is available 24 hours a day if you want to know more about preventing injuries at home. Call us on the EWP number or email us at
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