More than 600,000 of the 900,000 accidents that happen in Finland every year take place in the home and in leisure activities. The most common accidents are slipping, tripping and falling. More than 2,000 lives are lost in the home, which is more than five times the number of road deaths.
Fortunately, accidents do not depend on luck. Accidents can be prevented by foreseeing the risks and improving safety at home by various means and protective equipment. Half of those who have been injured in accidents feel that the accident could have been easily avoided.
The Finnish home accident prevention network is supported by authorities and organisations who are working to achieve a situation where Finns would not top the accident list in Europe. The network has been improving Finns’ leisure time safety since 1993, producing safety material to both the public at large and professionals involved in accident prevention. The Finnish Red Cross coordinates the campaign.
The network implements safety campaigns: the Home Accident Prevention Day campaign and the ‘Pysy Pystyssä’ anti-slipping campaign. The national Home Accident Prevention Day is held in Finland on a Friday the 13th every year. The ‘Pysy pystyssä’ campaign is usually held in January. The campaigns have their own websites (only in Finnish), but their bulletins and campaign materials are also published in Swedish and English.
There’s safety in numbers – also in accident prevention, at all levels. For example, a fire inspector may notice that an elderly person needs aid equipment in the home, or a home helper may check the functioning of a smoke detector. In this setting, the home accident prevention network encourages cooperation between those who work or volunteer for safety promotion in the field.