Home safety and security
The council's Home Safety Initiative aims to reduce accidents to children and older people within the home. We also aim to reduce the fear to older people of crime within their home.
The biggest single cause of accidents is human error and more people are injured in their homes than anywhere else.
- Around 4000 deaths are the result of accidents in the home and around 1300 of these are the over 75s.
- Falls account for over 55% of all home accidents.
- Fire is one of the most serious hazards in any home.
- Accidents within the home often occur from everyday activities such as children playing, preparing food or carrying out DIY.
Children in the home
Accidents involving children often occur in the presence of an adult. Around 10 children die every year as a result of falls in the home and 44% of accidents within the home are due to falls.
Around 25,000 under 5s are admitted to Accident and Emergency for being accidently poisoned and 26,000 attend due to being either burnt or scaled. Every year over 2000 children are seriously scalded in baths. It is important to know that children can drown in less than 3cm of water. House fires are the biggest single cause of death to children in the home.
Older people in the home
Hypothermia is a main contributing factor to around 400 deaths a year for the over 65s. As many as 1500 people aged over 75 die as a result of a fall.
It is estimated that about 500,000 people over 75 attend Accident and Emergency due to accidents within the home.
Fear of crime also affects health by causing depression and anxiety.
What to look out for?
There are a number of ways in which you can feel safer in your home such as having approved smoke detectors fitted on each floor and keeping all chemicals stored away from children's reach.
You can assess whether your home is safe by following the Home Safety Checklist which can be downloaded from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents website. This will give you an outline of what hazards to look out for and will also give advice on what steps can be taken, including:
- the risk of falls, fire, electrocution, scalds, burns and poisoning for young children within the home
- for older people will be the risk of falls, fire, electrocution and prevention of burglary.
You can also find further information about fire safety within the home from the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service website.
After completing the checklist, if you still feel that you need further advice please contact the Housing Standards Team.
Worried about a neighbour?
If you are worried about a neighbour because you don't think they are getting the support they need, you could help them by contacting Basingstoke NeighbourCare. NeighbourCare is a voluntary organisation set up to offer care and assistance to anyone in need. Contact them on 01256 423855.