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The BBC's Elaine Parke
"There are steps that can be taken to reduce the risks"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 01:18 GMT
Home hazards 'kill more than cars'
Casualty department
Falls send 1.2 million a year to casualty
More people die in the home every week than in road accidents, according to a government report.

In the UK, 76 people are killed in domestic accidents each week.


The most vulnerable people are the elderly and the very young

Consumer Affairs Minister Kim Howells
They die mainly from fires, carbon monoxide poisonings, burns, drowning, accidental collisions and DIY accidents.

Road accidents kill 66 people a week.

The Department of Trade and Industry's annual Home Surveillance System report reveals

  • More than 1.2 million each year visit hospitals' casualty departments following a fall.
  • One in 12 people over 75 need treatment in hospital after falling
  • There are 99,000 DIY-related accidents annually - 40,000 involving step ladders
  • Each day 55 pre-school children need treatment for burns and scalds
  • 590,000 people a year need treatment after colliding with another person or an object in their homes
  • The 16,000 people who end up in casualty departments every day cost the health service an estimated 25m a year

Consumer Affairs Minister Kim Howells said the figures were "worrying".

He said: "People are suffering from unnecessary accidents in the home.

Vulnerable groups

"These are worrying figures which can reduced simply by changing behaviour.

"The most vulnerable people are the elderly and the very young.

"We have launched specific campaigns to target these groups to make sure that the home becomes a safer place."

These public awareness campaigns include Keep Your Kids out of Hot Water and Avoiding Slips, Trips and Broken Hips.

Sarah Colles, home safety advisor for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: "It is worrying to see that so many people are still being needlessly injured in the home each year."

She said vulnerable groups such as young people and children needed to be targeted to reduce the number of accidents in the future.

"Home safety is everyone's responsibility and we should work together in a bid to raise home safety awareness."

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See also:

04 Jan 01 | Health
Identifying the accident prone
06 Feb 01 | Health
Britain 'safe for children'
16 Feb 01 | Health
Parents lack first aid knowledge
14 Jun 00 | Health
1,000 die from stair falls
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