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Staying safe in your home

Get tips to stay safe in and around your home. 

On this page

    Making home life safer

    Our homes are more and more becoming the place where we work, relax, exercise, socialise, and look after our whānau.

    You may know your home like the back of your hand, but the things you see and do every day could be potential dangers that may cause an injury.

    There are some things you can do to make it safer in and around your home and prevent any injuries to you and your whānau.

    DIY activities

    There are a few things you can do to avoid a DIY-related injury.

    Tips to stay safe while doing it yourself:

    • Use the right size and type of ladder
    • Use the personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job, eg hard hat, helmet, earmuffs, overalls, eye protection, and safety masks
    • Keep your tools in good condition and only use it for the job they're designed for
    • Keep workspaces clear of clutter and obstacles
    • Have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit close by
    • Use a residual current device (RCD) when working with power tools outside.

    Slips, trips and falls in and around your home

    Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common causes of injuries in and around the home. Falling in the home causes more injuries to New Zealanders than road accidents and workplace injuries combined.

    Tips to avoid slips, trips and falls:

    • Tuck power cords away from walkways and common areas and secure them
    • Clear clutter away, and keep objects such as toys, shoes, books, and bags away from stairs and walkways
    • Anchor rugs with anti-slip mats
    • Arrange furniture so that there's enough space to move around the house
    • Make sure your lights are bright enough and positioned right
    • Make sure stairs have a solid handrail, good lighting, and are clear of clutter
    • Use a step ladder to reach high shelves.

    For older members of your household

    For family members over 65, staying active with regular exercise is a great way to help build leg and core strength that will help reduce the risk of a fall.

    For more information on strength and balance for those over 65, see the Live Stronger for Longer website.

    Live Stronger for Longer

    Keeping tamariki safe at home

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

    Tips for keeping tamariki safe:

    • Make sure balconies have a solid safety barrier that they can't climb
    • Have safety catches on windows they can reach
    • 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 bathtime
    • Clean up spills as soon as they happen.

    Resources for safety at home

    Check out our resources on safety at home, including more tips and checklists.

    Safety at home resources


    Last published: 7 April 2021