Is Your Home An Accident Waiting To Happen?


Carpets, power-cords and sprinklers may not be as harmless as they look.

They are among the household objects responsible for the most garden and home-related Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) claims – along with the more obvious items, such as ladders, chainsaws and hammers.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think of dangerous objects, a sprinkler and a bit of carpet aren’t the first things that spring to mind.

But they are responsible for many trips and slips – nearly half of all home injuries are caused by falls and it’s not just those in their early and twilight years that make up those numbers.

People aged between 25 and 64 make up a large percentage of all falls in the home.

Figures released this week by the ACC show gardening was behind 56,282 claims submitted last year – worth a massive $49 million and up from 54,516 the previous year.

A sprinkler was the cause of 52 claims. One unlucky sprinkler user “tripped over the hose, missed step onto path and jarred [their] knee and hip” after just switching on a sprinkler.

Looks like the sprinkler and hose aren’t such an innocent pair after all.

We all know the old adage that more people are injured at home than anywhere else so here’s some advice* from ACC about how to reduce the risks.

*Most of the advice is just a lot of common sense, so we’ve compiled a list of a few things that could strike a cord (not literally, obviously).

How to reduce the risks…


About 40 per cent of homes have dangerously hot water, meaning there are more than 560,000 hot water burns waiting to happen…

The ideal temperature for water is 55°C when it comes out of the tap, and 60°C in your cylinder.


It needs to be at least 60°C in the cylinder to keep bacteria from growing, which could make you sick.

Get your hot water checked by a registered plumber to ensure it’s at the right temperature.

Electrical cords

Never leave a cord hanging over the edge of a kitchen bench or table where a child could pull the appliance down on themselves.


Put dirty laundry in a hamper so it’s not on the floor creating a tripping hazard.

Try not to install cupboards at head-height above the washing machine – hitting your head every time you do a load of washing can’t be good for the old noggin.


Take your time – so often we’re rushing around cooking meals and that’s when injuries happen. Slow down and be safe.

Keep pets and small children away from the kitchen – as much for your own sake as theirs. Pets and kids milling about on the floor are responsible for many a trip in the kitchen (in our house anyway…).

When building or redesigning a kitchen, don’t make the kitchen a travel route to other parts of the house, or the only route to the backyard – you don’t want it to be a ‘high traffic’ area.


Firmly anchor rugs so they don’t slide or bunch up and cause you to fall.


Keep clutter and cords out of your way.

Go to the ACC website for more tips on home safety. 

Do you have any helpful tips for avoiding injuries in the home? Or something you wish you had or hadn’t done before you had an injury at home?

Let us know in the comments below or on our NZ and AU Facebook pages.