Statistically speaking, the home is among the most dangerous place to be. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, around six-thousand people in the UK die every year as a result of home accidents – and more than two million are hospitalised. There are a few statistical quirks which might be skewing this data.
First, we spend a huge amount of time at home – especially if there’s a pandemic. Moreover, the older people who tend to spend the most time at home are those more likely to suffer badly from an accident.
A survey by the National Accident Helpline, who offer advice on compensation claims and medical negligence, has helped to pinpoint exactly where in the home an accident is statistically most likely to occur. It asked two thousand Brits from across the country where they had been injured in the home, and what caused the particular injury. While a majority of accidents occur in the living room (according to RoSPA), it’s the kitchen where injuries are most likely.
Of all the rooms in the home, the kitchen is the most dangerous. It’s home to sharp knives, scalding stovetops, and cabinets from which a loose jar of pickles might easily topple onto a careless person’s head. 60% of those asked claim to have injured themselves while working on a culinary task.
An alarming 49% of respondents claimed to have injured themselves while using a kitchen knife. This may be down to a lack of knife skills. 24% claimed to have injured themselves while using the hob. Given that most kitchens tend to come equipped with tiled or laminated flooring, we should also consider the danger of wet floors, which 18% of respondents claimed to have injured themselves with.
Outside of the kitchen, home exercise trends might have driven a raft of injuries. 33% of respondents claimed to have suffered an injury while exercising at home. Moreover, women are more likely to suffer injuries than men (41% vs 25%).
Age also plays a significant role in determining injury risk – but perhaps not in the way that many of us might suspect. While 83% of 35-44-year-olds claimed to have been injured several times, the figure falls to 57% for those aged over sixty-five. This might be thanks to a decline in general activity, however – and we should consider that older people might still be likely to suffer more severe accidents.
Commenting on the findings, Tom Fitzgerald, Managing Director of National Accident Helpline, said: “While it’s inevitable that accidents will happen around the house as part of everyday life, it was still surprising to see just how many people are injuring themselves multiple times in their own homes. An injury caused by falling off a ladder, slipping on a wet floor or even an accidental strain while exercising can potentially have serious implications and in some cases could impact peoples’ lives for many years to come.
“Now, more than ever, it’s important that the public are being mindful of their surroundings, even in the safety of their own homes, to prevent unnecessary accidents from happening.”