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Most people take it for granted that their homes are safe – until something happens to shake their confidence. The reality is that you are more likely to be involved in an accident at home than anywhere else.

Part of the problem is that people don’t think of their homes as dangerous places and so take chances with safety, for example, tackling electrical jobs instead of hiring an electrician.

They leave doors and windows open and create trip hazards everywhere.

Fortunately, there is lots of advice available on how to stay safe in your home.

Home security

The majority of house burglaries are opportunistic – thieves spot open windows and back doors, or see car keys hanging within easy reach of a door or window. Take simple security measures to minimise the risks of crime and distraction burglary.

Avoiding accidents

Most home accidents can be avoided if you maintain your home properly and look out for the danger signs, for example, the smell of gas or electrical appliances getting hot.

Employ registered tradesmen to do gas and electrical work and be aware of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Falling at home can have devastating effects for an older or frail person because a fall often marks the start of a general decline in their health and ability to live independently.

Falls are not an inevitable part of old age and there is a lot you can do to minimise the risk of falling at home.

Many people who would otherwise be unable to live independently are now being kept safe at home with the help of ‘assistive technology’ including memory aids and personal movement detectors.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has a lot of home safety guidance on its website, including sections about general home safety, older people safety and product safety.

Last updated: 21/12/2016