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Safety Begins At Home

29 August 2008

Safety Nz Week Highlights Safety Begins At Home - A Nzer's Most Dangerous Place

Most New Zealanders feel safest in their homes - it's somewhere to unwind, relax and get comfortable.

But the latest ACC statistics show that the home is actually the most common place for New Zealanders to be injured. In fact, one in seven New Zealanders will be injured in their homes each year. In the last financial year, one third of all injuries happened at home, at a cost of more than $377 million.

"This year's figures confirm that injuries in the home are much more prevalent and more serious than most New Zealanders believe," said Katie Sadleir, ACC's General Manager, Injury Prevention. "More than 650,000 New Zealanders will sustain a home injury this year. More than 36,000 of those injuries will require hospitalisation, while 500 of those injured will die.

"Home injuries are both serious and common and the number of fatal home injuries is nearly five times that of workplace fatalities. That's why this year's Safety NZ Week is focusing on injury prevention at home."

According to research, 55% of New Zealanders think that there is a risk of injury in the home, but only 15% believe a home injury will happen to them.

"Most people appear to think they won't be injured, but the statistics show a different story. We all need to take steps at home to keep ourselves and our families safe, and not just for Safety NZ Week but for every week of the year," Ms Sadleir said.

Safety NZ Week (September 1 - 7) is part of an ongoing ACC campaign to educate New Zealanders about the risks that exist at home, and provides simple tips to avoid injuries.

"The steps to stay safe are often very simple but could save lives. For example, increasing the number of rings on your home phone can reduce the risk of fall when rushing to pick up a ringing phone," said Katie Sadleir.

"Another tip is to install non-slip shower and bath mats, wear non-slip shoes or slippers on wooden floors, and keep all areas - especially stairways - clear of clutter and well-lit. Also, make sure sliding glass doors are visible - add a frosted or coloured panel, or even just use stickers."

Safety NZ Week will be launched by the ACC Minister, Hon Maryan Street, in Porirua City, which has just been designated a World Health Organisation (WHO) Safe Community.

For further information on Safety NZ Week and keeping safe in the home, visit .

More home injury facts:

* A New Zealander injures themselves in the home every 44 seconds.

* A child dies every two weeks from an injury in the home.

* Slips, trips and falls are the cause of over half (55%) of all moderate to serious home injuries.

* 40% of New Zealand homes have dangerously hot water.

* If you have three standard alcoholic drinks in six hours you're 12 times more likely to fall.

* Last year 22,000 people injured themselves at home using some kind of tool.

About Safety NZ Week

* Safety NZ Week 2008 is happening from 1-7 September.

* The week focuses on raising awareness of the risk of home injury and providing sound advice to help all New Zealanders make their home - and their behaviours at home - safer.

* The home is the most common place for injuries to occur; more common even than on the road or during sport or recreational activities.

* On average, 36,000 people require hospitalisation from injuries sustained in the home every year, and many of these injuries have serious, life-altering consequences.

* While 55% of people think that there is risk of injury in the home, only 15% perceive themselves to be at risk.


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