We all want to feel safe at home, but around a third of accidental injuries requiring medical treatment occur at home, caused by falling hazards such as slippery floors, bad lighting, unergonomic furniture, faulty products, etc. Other health hazards include noise, indoor air pollution, mould, toxic chemicals, to name but a few.
Vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and people with disabilities are particularly at risk. These groups have special safety needs at home: appropriate children’s rooms, aids like hand rails, enough space for medical care, unimpeded access, etc. In our ageing societies, more attention needs to be given to health and safety in the home so we can live independently as long as possible.
Safe, healthy homes are not only the responsibility of home owners. Effective legislation, appropriate standardization and enforcement also have a role to play. New homes must meet high health and safety standards, information on requirements must be easily accessible, and essential adjustments must be affordable, even on a limited budget.