Whether from a fire, fall, natural disaster or pesky bite of food, home can also turn into a dangerous place.
Thousands of people are injured or even killed in accidents and other incidents that take place in their homes, and a variety of hazards may exist throughout the home.
Read further to see the full extent of the possible harm that could come to you in your own home, but here’s a quick summary of what our research found:
- In-home injuries: 25,000,000 per year
- Fires: 1,300,000 per year
- Children’s injury deaths: 12,000 per year
- Foodborne illnesses: 48,000,000 per year
- Senior fall injuries: 2,800,000 per year
Let’s take a look at some of the most serious in-home hazards and what we can learn from exploring statistics and rates.
Injuries at Home
Home is meant to be the safest place in the world, but national statistics reveal a far more troubling picture.
Accidental injury is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though many of those incidents take place outside the home.
Still, many homes are, sadly, the site of serious injuries and even deaths.
89,300 deaths occurred in 2018 from preventable injuries or injury-related deaths in homes. [National Safety Council]
At least 25,000,000 injuries occurred in homes in 2018, with an estimated total economic toll of more than $320 billion. [National Safety Council]
The overall national death rate from accidental deaths in the home has risen by nearly 150% since 1999. [National Safety Council]
Poisonings and falls were the two most common types of in-home accidental injury deaths in 2018, accounting for about 8 in 10 such deaths. [National Safety Council]
Deaths from falls have increased by 217% since 1999, while deaths from poisonings, which includes accidental drug overdoses, have climbed by a staggering 446% in that same time. [National Safety Council]
Indoor Security Cameras
Security cameras inside the house can be helpful in preventing accidents and injuries and providing accurate information to emergency personnel in the event of an accident.
Most U.S. households haven’t yet adopted security systems, but of the ones that have, about 55% of those have at least one security camera inside the house. [PCMag]
About 1.3 million fires were reported in 2018, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, including those reported in homes, apartment buildings, businesses and even vehicles.
Most fires that occur in homes are preventable, but the results can be devastating.
2,790 people were killed in residential fires in 2018, an increase of 12.5% from 2009. [U.S. Fire Administration]
Non-fatal injuries from house fires increased by 19% between 2009 and 2018, and financial losses reported in 2018 totaled $8.2 billion from residential fires. [U.S. Fire Administration]
Cooking accounted for more than half of all residential fires (50.7%), followed by heating (9.4%) electrical malfunctions (6.7%), among the most common causes in 2018. [U.S. Fire Administration]
Nearly $26 billion in property damage occurred because of fires in the U.S. in 2018. [National Fire Protection Association] Considering the devastation a home fire can cause, it is advised to get the best fireproof safe so you can keep your essential documents safe.
Deaths from all types of fires tend to be higher in Southern states. The average rate of fire-related deaths between 2013 and 2017 was highest in West Virginia (23.5 per 100,000) and lowest in Utah (4.6 per 100,000). [National Fire Protection Association]
Virtually all U.S. homes have at least some protection from disasters inside the home, as about 96% of homes are equipped with smoke detectors.
But many fewer homes have smoke alarms that are hardwired to security systems. [National Fire Protection Association]
While smoke detectors were present in a majority of home fires reported between 2012 and 2016 (74%), almost 60% of deaths from fires were in structures with no operational smoke alarms. [National Fire Protection Association]
Injuries to children are especially dangerous, and among preventable causes of death for people 19 and younger, injuries are the most common cause.
Whether from burns, falls or accidental poisoning, children are at a unique risk in the home.
About 12,000 young people die each year from unintentional injuries, with falls being the most common cause of nonfatal injuries of children. [Stanford Children’s Health]
More than 250,000 kids are injured in bicycle-related incidents each year, and about 100 are killed. [Stanford Children’s Health]
The most common causes of injuries to children are as follows:
Boys tend to have higher nonfatal injury rates than girls. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
Drowning is the No. 1 cause of injury-related death in children up to age 4. [National Institute of Child Health and Human Development]
Nanny cams are indoor security cameras that can be disguised as many other products, such as doorknobs, shoes, stuffed animals or alarm clocks.
Parents prefer getting the best nanny cams so they can keep an eye on their newborn babies and toddlers without getting their attention.
It is also useful for keeping an eye on babysitters as we’ve seen horrible incidents captured by these nanny cams.
Foodborne illness, choking and allergic reactions are all possible causes of injury or even death related to the food we eat.
In fact, food poisoning sickens about 48 million Americans each year, according to federal health officials.
More than 250 foodborne diseases have been identified by medical science. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
3,000 Americans are killed by foodborne illnesses in a typical year. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
Globally, about 1 in 10 people are sickened by contaminated food each year. [World Health Organization]
Choking on food is the fourth-leading cause of unintentional injury death, with children and older people both being more likely to choke than others. [National Safety Council]
Several famous people over the years are believed to have died by choking, including Attila the Hun and playwright Tennessee Williams.
Choking deaths in children have declined by 75% since 1968. [Journal of the American Medical Association]
Food allergies may be growing more common in the United States, as insurance claims related to anaphylactic food injuries have grown by 377% since 2007, according to the FARE organization. [FARE]
The majority of adults who believe they have food allergies haven’t actually been diagnosed.
In fact, a recent study indicated that about 10.8% of American adults have a true food allergy, but nearly 19% believed they were allergic. [Journal of the American Medical Association]
Women are more likely to be diagnosed with food allergies than men, and about 13.8% of American women are estimated to have a food allergy, compared to 7.5% of men. [Journal of the American Medical Association]
People with diagnosed food allergies are likely to have other allergies as well. For example, 28.8% of those with a food allergy also are allergic to latex, 23% have an insect allergy, and 28% have chronic hives. [Journal of the American Medical Association]
Older people are at unique risks inside a home, especially from the risk of falls, which depending on other health issues and age, could even be fatal. In fact, falls cause more fatal injuries in older people than any other injury.
1 in 4 Americans 65 and older falls each year. [National Council on Aging]
Every 19 minutes, a senior dies from a fall, and every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room after experiencing a fall. [National Council on Aging]
About 38% of seniors who experience falls require medical treatment or activity restriction. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
This year, the financial toll from falls in older adults is expected to surpass $65 billion. [National Council on Aging]
Seniors in Alaska are more likely to experience falls (38.1%) than those in Hawaii (24.6%), which may be due to the huge disparity in weather conditions in those states.
The death rate from seniors falling has climbed by more than 31% in recent years. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
|Year||Death Ratio per 100,000|
The impact of events like hurricanes, floods, wildfires and other natural disasters is increasing around the world, with these events becoming both more common and more dangerous, due largely to climate change. But such incidents have long been potential in-home safety hazards.
Hurricanes were the most damaging natural disaster in the U.S. in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, both in terms of lives lost and economic toll.
Weather-related disasters have become more common in the U.S., with the number of catastrophes, or events that cause more than $25 million in insured property losses, more than doubling since 2009.
California had the highest dollar figure lost in natural disasters in 2018 ($15.1 billion), followed by Florida ($7.9 billion) and North Carolina ($5 billion). [Insurance Information Institute]
September is the most common month for hurricanes to make landfall in the U.S. [Insurance Information Institute]
About 1,000 tornadoes are reported in an average year in the U.S. [Insurance Information Institute]
Water Leak Sensor
In-home damage isn’t limited to extreme weather events, and often tiny water leaks, whether from rain or faulty pipes, can add up to major repair bills.
Water damage claims have an average value of more than $10,000 per claim. Globally, floods are the most common natural disaster, accounting for 43% of all natural disasters between 1995 and 2015.
While some of the issues we’ve explored today are unavoidable (after all, you can’t exactly stop a hurricane), many of them are preventable with simple, common-sense safety tips, such as by considering some of the products listed throughout this report.