Have you ever heard that the majority of serious accidents happen around the home? That's right: the place that most of us go to relax and unwind after a long day at work, our 'sanctuary' from the rest of the world, is in fact the place we are most likely to have a serious injury and the place we're most likely to be undone by.
Now of course this fact is partly due to the amount of time we spend in the home. We spend more time in our homes than probably anywhere else, so statistically we are just more likely to have accidents there.
At the same time it also comes down to complacency. We feel safe and secure in our homes, which means we are less aware of dangers and less careful going about our business. Our eyes are less open to the various dangers that present themselves, so we are immediately more likely to seriously hurt ourselves.
But it also comes down to another more worrying fact: that being that there are actually a number of dangers that can present themselves around the home that aren't an issue anywhere else. The simple fact is that our homes are actually… quite dangerous.
Let's take a look then at what some of the most common accidents are around the home, and how you can go about avoiding them.
Of course the stairs are a relatively dangerous part of the home, particularly if you or the people you live with are prone to bounding up and down them quickly. The problem is that it's easy to trip and that you can then end up falling quite a long way to eventually injure yourself. The solution? Of course you should take it more quickly, but you should also design the home in a way that reduces the chances of injury. In particular this means having carpets with lots of grip and looking out for tears and erosion that could cause an accident.
Glass doors have the potential to be absolutely lethal if you clean them so well that they become practically invisible. A lot of glass doors have this problem and that makes it all too easy to sprint into them and end up lying on your face on the other side covered in glass.
The solution? Of course you don't want to make your glass dirty, but easier is to place a single light sticker somewhere on the glass at eye level. You should also encourage a 'no running' policy.
Waste can cause a number of problems around the home – particularly if you have recently had renovations done. Things left lying around the garden like raw materials and tools can easily be tripped on or end up skewering your foot (that old Tom & Jerry stepping-on-the-rake gag is actually a real and dangerous threat!). Alternatively you can end up getting crushed by a pile of cut down trees, or children can hurt themselves playing in them. If ever you are having work done on your home, make sure to get rubbish removal soon after.
Electricity is another danger that you can face around the home – especially if you have lots of plugs and wires stretched across your kitchen countertops and across your floor. If these get cut then you can easily end up giving yourself a nasty shock, while wet fingers near a plug can also be lethal. The solution is to try and manage your wires so that they're safely out of the way – attach them to the walls by your skirting boards, or run them underneath your rugs where they won't get damaged. You should also make sure to keep animals and children away from them – for some reason they seem to be good to chew…
The last threat around the home we're going to look at here is gas. Gas can create problems if you breathe it in (carbon monoxide poisoning), but can be even more devastating if it leads to an explosion. To avoid these problems you should install a carbon monoxide detector in your home, and you should make sure to invest in good quality gas appliances.
Nancy Baker is a freelance blogger who is currently writing for Perth Bin Hire. She takes keen interest in home improvement activities and suggests ideas that could help in decorating homes. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.