At summer cabins, Finns are afraid of accidents, injuries and surprise encounters with animals. A survey ordered by the Finnish home accident prevention network shows that the safety of a cabin visit can be improved easily by making sure the basics are in order: at the moment, one third of people do not use a life jacket while on a boat and only one in two have fire extinguishing equipment at their cabin.
There are more than half a million summer cabins in Finland that are in regular use. Potential accidents or injuries are the most common fear at a cabin – shared by every fourth survey respondent. This fear is even more common among women: one in three women (30%) is afraid of accidents at a cabin.
However, the preparedness of Finns for potential cabin accidents varies. Only one in two cabins (54%) is equipped with fire extinguishing equipment, such as a fire blanket or foam extinguisher. Similarly, only one in two respondents (49%) had a first aid kit.
Only about one in three (39%) says that they have first aid skills. The situation is better among young people, as more than half (53%) of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 had first aid skills.
The survey ordered by the Finnish home accident prevention network was carried out as Kantar Public’s online survey as part of Kantar’s weekly panel 1–5 September 2023. The survey was taken by 1,018 Finns.
First aid skills and the 112 Suomi mobile app go a long way
– Accidents at cabins could be avoided if people only prepared a little better. When an accident does happen, it would be good to have access to first aid equipment and the skills to use them. Skills come in handy, as the survey also revealed that nearly half of the respondents do not know their cabin’s address. This makes it quite difficult for the emergency response vehicles to find their way there, too,” says planning officer Saara Aakko of the Finnish Red Cross.
Women are better prepared for potential accidents than men. Of women, 67% have told their loved ones that they are at the cabin, and one in two women has saved an emergency contact in their phone as an ICE contact.
– The 112 Suomi mobile app is the easiest and cheapest way to stay on the map. According to the survey, however, one in two Finns still does not have the app,” Aakko says.
Preparedness makes autumn chores safer
Completing the cabin’s autumn chores is safer with proper equipment. One in two (54%) of people over 50 inspect the condition of equipment such as ladders, axes and saws before using them. However, only about a third (37%) of 18–24-year-old respondents do the same.
Things do happen sometimes at the cabin, but many accidents can be avoided by being prepared. The national Accident Prevention Day is held on Friday, 13 October. Its purpose is to make people aware of how to reduce the risk of accidents at home, during leisure time, at work and in traffic. Authorities and organisations pool their resources to campaign for the prevention of accidents on every Friday occurring on the 13th day of the month.
Health Promotion Planning Officer Saara Aakko, Finnish Red Cross, tel. +358 (0)40 480 6973, saara.aakko(at)redcross.fi
On water safety:
Communication Specialist Niko Nieminen, Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation, tel. +358 (0)10 340 7332, niko.nieminen(at)suh.fi
On fire safety:
Safety Communications Specialist Juha Hassila, Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK), tel. +358 (0)40 758 7846, juha.hassila(at)spek.fi
Slipping and falling accidents:
Senior Researcher Hanna Kettunen, National Institute for Health and Welfare, tel. +358 (0)29 524 7582, hanna.kettunen(at)thl.fi