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New online checklist aims to help renters choose safer homes

ACC Media Release

11 December 2013

New online checklist aims to help renters choose safer homes

Renters checking out properties on Trade Me can now get guidance on how to choose a safe and healthy home, thanks to a new ‘Renter’s Healthy Home Checklist’.

Developed by ACC, the checklist can be accessed by clicking on a link at the bottom of each Trade Me page showing details of a rental property.

ACC’s Programme Manager Home Safety, Megan Nagel, says the checklist will help renters identify potential hazards in homes they look at.

“Our aim is to help people factor in safety when deciding which property to rent, and identify things that may need fixing, so they can talk to the landlord about this.”

Ms Nagel says a recent survey conducted by ACC found that renters give safety a high priority when choosing a suitable home, which is encouraging given the high number of injuries that happen in the home.

“More than one third of the roughly 1.7 million claims ACC receives every year are for injuries that happen in and around the home.”

Injuries at home are caused by various factors, including behavioural and environmental factors, and it’s the latter that the checklist will help identify.

“We encourage people to look out for things such as adequate power outlets in rooms, so cords don’t have to run across walk ways, and lights by the bed, so you don’t have to walk around in the dark.

“Safe access to the front door is also important. The check list prompts you to look for things such as well-structured steps, visibility strips and good outdoor lighting.

“Features such as these can all help to significantly reduce the risk of falls in and around the home, which lead to around 280,000 claims each year.”

Many people think home falls only affect the very young and older people, but more than a third of home falls happen to working age people, aged 20 to 64.

Ms Nagel says the checklist is just one of many initiatives ACC is working on to try to prevent home injuries.

“We’re currently focused on identifying opportunities to influence the safer design, construction and ongoing maintenance of stairs.   

“We’ve also just supported the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) to make resources on safe, accessible home design, targeted at builders and architects, available on the BRANZ website.”

ENDS

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