Safety at home

Most injuries at home are preventable. We've created handy hints so you can 'Have a hmmm' and keep you and your whānau injury-free at home.

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    Injuries at home are preventable

    Injuries are more likely to happen in our homes than anywhere else. We spend heaps of time there, do a wide range of jobs, and try lots of fun and interesting things. These injuries are preventable though, and you can stop them from happening.

    A great way to prevent injuries is to ‘Have a hmmm?’ before you get stuck into things at home. We've put together handy hints to help you learn how to stay injury free and keep doing what you love.

    Find out more about Have a hmmm

    Read these DIY tips

    There are a few things you can do to avoid a DIY-related injury. Check out these tips to stay safe while doing it yourself around the house.

    • Take your time and ‘have a hmmm?’ before you get stuck in.
    • Use the right size and type of ladder – make sure it’s balanced, fully extended and that you avoid the top rungs.
    • Use the right safety gear for each job, like a hard hat, helmet, earmuffs, overalls, eye protection, and safety mask.
    • Keep your safety gear with your tools so you remember to use it.
    • Keep workspaces tidy and remove anything that could get in the way or trip you up.
    • If the job is too tricky or needs special gear, get a professional to do it.
    • Have a fire extinguisher close by.
    • Use a residual current device (RCD) when working with power tools outside.

    Watch: Have a hmmm hints for DIY

    Video transcript for Handy hints for DIY


    Person in blue coveralls standing in front of house. Text shows Have a hmmm hints and the ACC logo.


    Kia ora. I'm back with a few easy ways to nail your DIY. Ready to get stuck in? First let's have a hmmm.


    Screen changes to show a full wheelbarrow in a backyard with the text 1. Find better ways to lift heavy items. Screen changes to show person lifting wheelbarrow and walking with it


    When moving something heavy use a wheelbarrow. Check your path is clear, then keep your back straight and knees bent when moving.


    Screen changes to show a person inside a house, using a painting extender pole to paint a ceiling. Text shows 2. Protect your back.


    Movements involving your back are a big part of any DIY, so avoid any tricky twists or added strains by using tools like an extender pole when painting. Easy.


    Screen changes to show tool kit. Text shows 3. Wear appropriate safety gear. We then see person inside house with a dust mask on that they remove, and ear muffs around their neck.


    Whatever… Whatever DIY you're doing, chuck on the appropriate safety gear before you get stuck in. If you've got it stored next to your tools you're more likely to use it.


    Screen changes to show person crouching inside wooden framing using a hammer. Text shows 4. Use tools calmly and safely. We then see person standing up, wearing protective eyewear and holding the hammer.


    Each year thousands of people injure themselves using hammers so take your time and focus on the correct technique when using on. Get a pro to do it for you if you think the job's a little too tricky or needs special gear. Enough from me let's get into it.


    Text on screen shows If you get hurt who gets harmed? Have a hmmm. Discover more handy tips. The ACC logo appears.

    Stopping slips, trips and falls

    Each year we support over 700,000 people to recover from a slip, trip or fall related injury. Lots of these injuries happen in the home.

    It can be easy to prevent most of these injuries from happening. Check out these handy hints to help you prevent slips, trips and falls:

    • Move things away from the parts of your floor you usually walk through.
    • Place your power cords and phone cables along the sides of walls instead of places you walk past.
    • Place anti-slip mats or double-sided tape under rugs or mats.
    • Make sure your lights are bright enough for you to see easily.
    • Make sure stairs have a handrail and have good lighting – remove anything that might cause you to trip.
    • If your staircase is wooden, apply anti-slip tape to the edge of each step.
    • Use a step ladder to reach things. Make sure it’s fully extended and you use it carefully.

    Watch: Have a hmmm hints for home

    Video transcript for Handy hints at home


    Person standing in front of a house. Text on screen shows Have a hmmm hints and the ACC logo.


    Kia ora, let's go inside and take a moment to have a hmmm. Haere mai.


    Screen shows inside of house with toys on the floor. Text shows 1. Remove any trip hazards. Screen changes to show person picking up toy dinosaur.


    Hmmm, do those need to be right there? Better not risk it. It's smart to put away items that might trip you up.


    Person putting toys away into basket and tidying a lamp cord away. Screen shows person sitting on floor by a rug.


    If you have a rug you can't do without, remember to secure it with a non-slip mat or double-sided tape.


    Screen changes to show a stepladder in kitchen. Text shows 2. Use step ladders safely. Screen changes to show person using stepladder to reach items in high cupboard in kitchen.


    If there's something not within easy reach, no biggie. Grab a step ladder, make sure it's stable, fully extended, and avoid the top rung. You've got it.


    Screen shows stairs with text showing 3. Look out for slippery surfaces. Screen changes to show person walking up wooden stairs.


    Wooden stairs? They look great, but they can be a bit slippery when you've got socks, slippers, or your baby onesie on. Remember to take your time. Some anti-slip tape can be helpful too. And let's not forget about outside. It's good to get rid of any moss or other stuff that could cause you to slip. Easy! See you next time for some more handy tips.


    Screen shows text If you get hurt who gets harmed? Have a hmmm. Discover more handy tips. ACC logo appears.

    Keep doing what you love

    Falls are the most common cause of injury in Aotearoa, making up 39 per cent of all claims. Each year, nearly a quarter of New Zealanders aged 65 and over had a fall-related ACC claim.

    If you’re an older New Zealander, you can reduce your chances of a fall related injury by improving your strength and balance. We help to provide strength and balance classes around the country to enable you to keep having a fun and active lifestyle.

    Learn more and find a class near you

    Be nimble with Nymbl

    Our balance training app Nymbl is designed specifically for older New Zealanders.

    Regular balance training greatly decreases your chance of an injury and helps you stay confident and independent so you can keep doing what you love most. Best of all, it's free to use.

    For iPhone and iPad users, access Nymbl on the Apple App store. For other mobile phone and tablet users, access from the Google Play Store. Try Nymbl today and get started with your balance training right away. 

    Download from the Apple App store

    Download from the Android Google Play store

    By using Nymbl for ten minutes a day, a few times a week, you can significantly reduce your chance of having a fall-related injury.

    Learn more and download the Nymbl app

    Keeping tamariki safe at home

    It's important to provide a safe environment for tamariki (children).

    Handy tips include:

    • Make sure balconies have a solid safety barrier that children can't climb
    • Have safety catches on windows
    • Keep gardening tools, equipment, chemicals, poisons, solvents, paints,
    • and sprays out of sight and reach 
    • Install safety catches on cupboards and drawers that hold dangerous items
    • Have fire extinguishers handy and mounted on the wall out of reach 
    • Turn non-essential appliances off at the wall
    • Make sure the bathroom floor is dry after bath time
    • Clean up spills as soon as they happen.

    Safety begins at home text with graphic of a kitchen

    Home safety checklist

    Follow this checklist to keep family, whānau and friends safe at your place. There are tips for the kitchen, living room, bathroom, outdoors, and when using steps or ladders.

    Download pdf 3 MB
    Last published: 26 September 2023