Working Together to Prevent Home Accidents
23 March 2015
Promoting home safety awareness in Antrim and Newtownabbey are (l-r): Aoife McAteer, Home Safety Officer; Alison Briggs, Health and Wellbeing Manager; Wendy Brolly, Principal Environmental Health Officer; Tracey Colgan, Senior Officer, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Team (North), Public Health Agency; and Rachel Ferguson, Home Safety Officer.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Councils, working in partnership with the Public Health Agency, are hoping to reduce the number of accidents within the home.
Two people die each week in Northern Ireland as a result of accidents that occur in their own homes. The staggering statistic was recently revealed by Health Minister Jim Wells as he launched the Home Accident Prevention Strategy for Northern Ireland, which aims to reduce the number of unintentional injuries and deaths caused by home accidents.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Councils are encouraging residents to take a look around their home and check for potential areas of danger. This could include looking at tripping hazards, testing your smoke alarm, ensuring fires and heaters are well guarded, securing blind cords and keeping cleaning products out of the reach of young children.
Residents over the age of 65, and households with children under 5 years or vulnerable adults who meet the eligibility criteria can avail of a free home safety check. This check is a confidential visit, arranged at a convenient time. It will involve a visual check of the home, which will help identify home safety risks.
The Home Safety Officer can also offer advice and answer questions on home safety topics such as, preventing trips and falls, poisoning, burns, scalds, blind cord safety and carbon monoxide poisoning. Free home safety equipment items may also be offered, subject to availability and eligibility.
In addition to the home safety checks, the Council’s Home Safety Officers can display information stands at events and provide talks for groups on the topic of home safety.
To request a FREE check, or to find out more about this confidential service, please contact the Home Safety Officers at either Antrim Borough Council by emailing [email protected] or telephoning 028 9446 3113, or Newtownabbey Borough Council by emailing [email protected] or telephoning 028 9034 0160.
For more information on safety at home, please visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/safety-at-home.