Every year in Wales, over 92,000 people are injured through accidents in their own home. 95% of these accidents are preventable. In order to help address this problem, Children in Wales and Home Accident Prevention Wales (HAPW) are jointly hosting a conference for the housing sector.
Mr Lewis, the Housing Minister said,
“A home is somewhere where everyone should be safe and protected. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth for many of us. Research shows that risk factors for accidents in the home increase dramatically for those living in areas of disadvantage, and for the under 5s and the over 65s.
"It’s often the simplest changes that make the biggest impacts. Care & Repair agencies do excellent work supporting older people with ‘safety in the home’ and ‘falls prevention’ initiatives. Thanks to the introduction of the Welsh Housing Quality Standard, 92% of social homes in Wales now have smoke detectors. In fact, more than 200,000 homes have been improved; many with new doors, windows, kitchens, and bathrooms and landlords continue to reduce accidents in homes by installing non slip surfaces, and limiters on windows.
“The vast majority of serious accidents and injuries in the home are entirely preventable, and all of us can, and must, do more to keep the most vulnerable safe in their own homes.”
The conference aims to raise awareness about the role housing providers have to play, the importance of working in partnership with health and other sectors and more importantly the benefit to families of a safer home.
Simple, cheap and timely solutions work. A second handrail to stop the elderly falling; restrictors fitted at refurbishment to stop children falling out of windows; stair gates and fire guards.
£35 spent on a thermostatic valve on a shower at the time of refurbishment can save huge pain and suffering from a severe scald and £250,000 treatment costs for the NHS.