Project aims to reduce accidents in the home

Southern Safer Homes Event Edenmore Country Club Moira 13 February 2013  CREDIT: LiamMcArdle.com

Southern Safer Homes Event Edenmore Country Club Moira 13 February 2013 CREDIT: LiamMcArdle.com

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A PROJECT to help reduce accidents in the home was highlighted at a recent event in Edenmore Golf and Country Club.

Councillor Joan Baird MBE, Chair of Southern Group Environmental Health Committee, recently welcomed delegates to the Securing Southern Safer Homes event.

This is a home safety project which is delivered by Southern Group Environmental Health Committee (SGEHC) in conjunction with the five Southern Group Councils - Armagh City and District, Banbridge District Council, Craigavon Borough Council, Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council and Newry and Mourne District Council.

The project aims to help reduce the number of accidental deaths and injuries which occur in homes. Focus is directed at those considered most at risk of having an accident within their own home - people aged over 65 years, children under the age of five, vulnerable adults or children, those with a disability or special needs as well as travellers and ethnic minority groups.

Mary Black, Assistant Director of Public Health, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement, PHA advised delegates that ‘home accident prevention is a significant public health issue and the reduction of accidents, including house fires, has been identified as one of the PHA’s corporate objectives’.

Startlingly, in 2010 there were 144 deaths from accidental falls compared to 123 from transport accidents.

Statistics presented by Lynne Smart, Acting Head Health Improvement, SHSCT highlighted that falls are a major concern in the older population within the Southern area, with 1300 fragility fractures a year in people over 50 with 300 hip fractures per year. Such injuries can lead to long term disability and impact on the quality of life for the individual and their family’. Both speakers reinforced the on-going need for the home safety service, and real benefit to local communities.

Southern Safer Homes is now in its fifth year. It is predicted that in the region of 5000 people have been reached as a result of the home safety project through a combination of home safety visits, interactions during various talks/presentations and attendance at health fairs and other awareness raising events.

Anyone who would like to request a home safety visit should contact Home Safety Officer Jean Dawson on 07920 460 348 or email jean.dawson@craigavon.gov.uk