No-one wants to end up flat on their back, but each year many of us find ourselves swept off our feet. Injuries usually include sprains, back injuries, broken bones, cuts, bruising and even concussion that could end up costing you a lot of pain, time and money. ACC wants to help you avoid falls through the following information.

Watch where you’re walking

If you know where your feet are and what’s beneath them, there’s a good chance nothing will catch you out and trip you up!

Don’t hurry

How many times have we been injured because we’ve been trying to save time? Running, hurrying or taking shortcuts are often just not worth the few seconds you might save.

So tidy up, slow down, look down, and save yourself an injury!


Falls often happen when we’re carrying something so make sure you can always see where you’re going. To be extra careful, carry two small loads instead of one; that’s also easier on your back.

Tidy up!

Busy families make a mess, and floors that are littered with toys, clothes, umbrellas, pets and so on, mean accidents are just waiting to happen. If each family member spends a few moments tidying up after themselves, tripping hazards should be kept to a minimum.

Tidying up is particularly important in high-traffic areas such as hallways, stairs and the kitchen, and when you are expecting an older visitor (see more information about preventing falls for older people). If your excuse for clutter is you’ve ‘nowhere to put things’, think about a clean-out or an upgrade of your storage facilities.

Older people

Many older people are concerned about losing their independence following a fall. Older people, along with their GPs and other health providers, can take positive steps to reduce the chances of falling.

Floors and carpets

Nearly half of all injuries in the home are caused by slips, trips and falls. Loose carpets and slippery or cluttered floors can all cause you to fall. Keep safe by making sure floors are dry and clear, and secure mats and rugs to stop them moving.


Keeping a clear path in your home means everyone can move around safely. Furniture that might move or fall, especially in an earthquake, should be secured to a wall.

Outside areas

It’s likely there are more hazards in your backyard than inside your home. This page covers some of these areas and how you can keep them safe for you and your family.

Steps and stairs

Nearly half of all injuries in the home are caused by slips, trips and falls, often from steps, stairs and ladders. A serious injury from a slip, trip or fall could significantly affect your life, your family and your livelihood. You can make sure steps and stairs in your home are safe, and that you use them safely.

Taking care in wet areas

Many slips and falls happen in bathrooms and areas where there is water or a slippery surface. There are 17,000 bathroom accidents each year, most commonly from slips, trips and falls. Water and electricity are also a dangerous combination. This page provides some tips about keeping safe in wet areas.

Published: 3 August 2015

Reviewed: 30 July 2015