Preventing Accidents at Home

Read our Advertiser Disclosure.
Contributor, Benzinga
April 3, 2023

Your home is a dangerous place to be. Nobody likes to think about home that way, but it seems to be true.

According to the National Safety Council, in fact, 53.6% of all serious accidents happen in the home. You might think that isn’t that bad. But stop to think about it. Every week, you probably visit an average of about six places. (A grocery store, a park, a gym, maybe a beer or wine store, plus maybe a place of worship and a school.) You don’t get injured in those places, at least not often. You’re about six times more likely to get injured at home. 

So, should you move out? No, you have to live somewhere. But you can take steps to make your home safer.

Are Older People More Likely to Have Accidents?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, older people are generally more prone to accidents than younger people are. This is due to a combination of physical, cognitive, and sensory changes that occur as a natural part of the aging process.

As people age, their reflexes and reaction times slow down, which can make it more difficult to respond quickly to unexpected situations. They may also experience changes in their vision, hearing, and balance, which can increase the risk of falls and other accidents.

Additionally, older adults may be more likely to have underlying health conditions, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, that can increase their susceptibility to accidents.

Overall, while older people may be more likely to have accidents, it is possible to minimize this risk by taking steps to promote safety and well-being.

What Kind of Accidents Happen in the Home?

Here are some statistics compiled by SafeAtLast, a company that installs home security systems:

  • Poisoning, falling, choking, drowning, and fires are the most common accidents. 
  • About 160,000 Americans die due to accidents every year, and 75% of these deaths are because of household injuries. 
  • Poisoning is among the top five fatal household injuries.
  • An amazing 77% of accidental gun deaths happen at home.
  • Chances of drowning in a bathtub are 1 in 685,000.
  • More than 10,300 people in the U.S. die every year in falls involving getting into or out of bed.
  • Falls cause 72% of all home-related ER admissions.
  • The annual cost in the U.S. of treating non-fatal stair injuries is about $92 billion.
  • Cooking causes more than 172,000 household fires every year in the U.S.

Preventive Steps to Keep Your Home Safer

Luckily, those accidents are preventable with a little home modification. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Keep your home clean and organized. A clean and organized home can reduce the risk of tripping, slipping, or falling. Make sure to declutter regularly and keep items off the floor.
  • Install safety devices. Install smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers in your home. Also, install childproof locks on cabinets and drawers if you have young children in the house.
  • Keep floors and stairs safe and free of clutter. Use non-slip mats and rugs on the floor, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. Keep stairs clear of clutter and install handrails on both sides of the stairs.
  • Be cautious in the kitchen. Always be careful when cooking with hot oil, boiling water, or sharp knives. Keep your kitchen clean, and make sure that all appliances are in good working order.
  • Be cautious with electricity. Unplug appliances when not in use, and never touch electrical cords with wet hands.
  • Be mindful of water safety. Keep your bathroom floor dry and install grab bars in the shower or bathtub. Make sure that children are supervised when they are near water.
  • Use proper lighting. Make sure that your home is well-lit, especially in areas where you walk, such as hallways and staircases.
  • Have your dryer vents professionally cleaned at least once a year. When lint accumulates in them, fires are likely to occur. 

And Practice Safety Routines Too

Safety routines are another important part of home safety. Here are some you can practice at home:

  • Develop an emergency plan. Create an emergency plan with your family, including escape routes and meeting points in case of a fire or other emergency.
  • Practice fire safety. Conduct fire drills regularly to ensure that everyone knows what to do in case of a fire. Also, make sure that smoke detectors are installed and functioning correctly.
  • Lock doors and windows. Keep them locked when you're not at home or when you're sleeping.
  • Keep a first aid kit on hand. Keep a well-stocked first aid kit in an easily accessible location, and make sure that everyone in your family knows how to use it.
  • Use proper lifting techniques. When lifting heavy objects, bend your knees and keep your back straight.
  • Keep hazardous materials out of reach. Store hazardous materials, such as cleaning products, out of reach of children and pets.
  • Be mindful of water safety. Never leave young children unattended near water, and always supervise them when they're in the bath or pool.

By incorporating these safety routines into your daily life, you can help prevent accidents and create a safer home environment.

And What About Protecting Your Home from Crime?

Good question! No matter your age, you naturally want to live in a home that protects you from crime. That will be reviewed in a future post, so stay tuned.