While many of us are aware of the dangers outside our front door, are we aware of hazards within our own four walls?
In an attempt to raise awareness of the most common injuries sustained indoors, and the importance of personal safety at home, we have revealed a list of the most dangerous rooms in the house, according to data from national emergency room (ER) records.
We analysed more than 15,000 entries from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS)* between 2016 and 2020, relating to injuries sustained in the bathroom, bedroom, living/dining room, kitchen, and garden. We can reveal that women are 17% more likely to find themselves in the ER as a result of clumsiness in the home.
The research also showed that the bedroom is the most dangerous room in the house for both men and women, where two-fifths (40%) of all household accidents occur. However, in the kitchen it is men who are more accident prone. Our research showed that men were almost 1.5 times more likely than women to cause injury to themselves in the kitchen and end up in the ER as a result of male blunders with kitchen equipment.
The most dangerous rooms in the house and the most common injuries sustained are:
#1 Bedroom (40%):
- Internal organ injury
- Contusions, abrasions
Women are the most accident prone in the bedroom, where they are 1.5 times more likely to have an accident resulting in a fracture than men.
The most prominent piece of furniture, the bed, was involved in 62% of bedroom-related accidents. One 35-year-old woman sustained a concussion when she fell out of bed and hit her head on the bedside table, while a 65-year-old woman set herself on fire while smoking a cigarette in bed.
#2 Bathroom (22% of household injuries):
- Fracture (38% male, 62% female)
- Internal organ injury (47% male, 53% female)
- Laceration (60% male, 40% female)
- Contusions, Abrasions (51% male, 49% female)
- Poisoning (63% male, 37% female)
Again, it is women that are revealed to be most accident prone in the bathroom, with 60% more women than men visiting the ER with injuries occurring from bathroom trips, slips and other accidents.
The research found that injuries in the bathroom most frequently took place in the shower (38%). Examples included a 27-year-old woman hurting her back after slipping while shaving her legs, and another 24-year-old woman having the bathroom ceiling collapse on her head while in the shower.
#3 Kitchen (17% of household injuries):
- Laceration (66% male, 34% female)
- Burns, thermal (63% male, 37% female)
- Fracture (48% male, 52% female)
- Anoxia (54% male, 46% female)
- Internal Organ Injury (55% male, 45% female)
It’s no wonder that men stay out of the kitchen, with data showing that they are almost 1.5 times more likely than women to cause injury to themselves and end up in hospital from kitchen-related blunders.
It’s no surprise that lacerations are the leading injury caused in the kitchen, with knives involved in 15% of all kitchen accidents recorded. One 61-year-old man swallowed a butter knife while trying to dislodge a piece of meat stuck in the back of his throat, while another 22-year-old male cut his own finger while cooking breakfast, mistaking it for a sausage.
#4 Garden (12% of household injuries):
- Fracture (77% male, 23% female)
- Laceration (89% male, 11% female)
- Amputation (90% male, 10% female)
- Internal Organ Injury (88% male, 12% female)
- Contusions, Abrasions (93% male, 7% female)
The hazards lying just outside the door can be more dangerous to men than women. With data revealing that men are five times more likely than women to end up in the ER with an injury sustained from clumsiness in the garden.
Lawnmowers were listed as the most hazardous item in the garden, causing one in five (20%) injuries in the garden. One 46-year-old man amputated his own toes while mowing the lawn, while another gentleman cut off his middle finger trying to unclog his rotary power push mower with the engine still running.
#5 Living/Dining room (9% of household injuries):
- Fracture (44% male, 56% female)
- Internal organ injury (56% male, 44% female)
- Laceration (66% male, 34% female)
- Contusions, Abrasions (54% male, 46% female)
- Dislocation (51% male, 49% female)
Although, in the living/dining room it is women that are the most accident prone. Fractures are the most common form of injury sustained, with data showing more women than men have been admitted to the ER with fractures resulting from clumsiness in these rooms.
The most common cause of injury in the living/dining room involved a couch (43% of accidents). Examples include a 64-year-old male who got tangled up in blankets and fell off his couch, resulting in a collapsed lung, and a 48-year-old female who fell getting up from her couch and fractured her foot.
The list was determined by how many accidents happened in each room, recorded on the NEISS database.
Our research found that fractures were the most common injury sustained at home, responsible for two-fifths (40%) of all hospital admissions. Overall it is women’s clumsiness that is most likely to land them in the ER with fractures, accounting for 55% of all recorded fractures from the home.
Men however, are more likely to find themselves in the ER after accidentally cutting themselves around the house, after results show that 69% of all laceration injuries were recorded from male blunders in the home and garden.
Meanwhile, over a quarter (26%) of accidents recorded in the garden involved injuries to either the hands or feet, with the majority a result of misuse of gardening equipment such as chainsaws, hedge trimmers and snow blowers. In comparison, 26% of incidents in the kitchen also affected the hands or feet, including lacerations from a knife, burns from the stove, and burns from hot drinks, with the majority (58%) of these injuries occurring to men as a result of carelessness in the kitchen.
If an injury has occurred in the comfort of your own home, you may still be able to make a personal injury claim. If the accident was caused by a faulty product, negligence, or the carelessness of someone else, it may be worth contacting an attorney.
Andy Gillin, the managing partner of GJEL, said,
“Our personal injury team wanted to raise awareness of the potential dangers people face at home, not to incite fear, but to encourage the public to be more careful around the house, and mindful of others under the same roof.
“From our research, we noted how the majority of accidents occur when completing the most basic of tasks, such as getting their feet caught when mowing their lawn, slipping while taking a shower, or simply falling when attempting to get out of bed. We also noted how women are 17% more likely to find themselves in the ER as a result of their own clumsiness, and that the majority of accidents occurring in the garden and kitchen are down to male blunders.
“We hope that this data will encourage people to ensure they are carrying out activities as safely as possible and taking care in the rooms where both men and women are more accident prone, like the bedroom. By taking more care, and not rushing to complete tasks around the house, we may prevent many unwanted trips to the ER!”