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RoSPA congress to ask Can the home be completely safe

RoSPA's National Home Safety Congress in Blackpool next month (November 11/12) will discuss whether our homes can – or should – be made as safe as possible.

More people die and are injured in accidents in the home than in any other setting, with more than 4,000 people losing their lives in this way in the UK in 2006. Falls, poisoning and the effects of fire and smoke were the largest causes of death.

The safety charity's conference at the Hilton Blackpool will consider the extent to which regulation is appropriate for tackling home accidents.

Delegates will also explore how a balance can be achieved between complacency and paranoia about hazards in the home, and whether the home environment should be “as safe as necessary” or “as safe as possible”.

In his keynote address, Lord Jordan of Bournville, RoSPA Vice-President, will outline regulatory successes in home safety, such as product safety developments and the installation of devices to prevent bath water scalds in new properties in Scotland.

How to reduce deaths and injuries from house fires, including the role of smoke alarms and domestic sprinklers, features on the conference programme. There will also be a progress report on an investigation into whether national injury figures should be collected.

Inventor Chris Haines will introduce delegates to his award-winning Safe-T-Light emergency lighting, which was featured on the BBC's Dragons' Den programme.

Other speakers include: Jo Hawley, from the Child Safety Unit at the Department for Children, Schools and Families; Mike Kelly, Director for the Centre of Public Health Excellence at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; and Ken Dunn, Consultant Surgeon at Manchester Burns and Plastic Surgery Service.

Sheila Merrill, RoSPA Home Safety Manager for England, said: “More people are killed and injured in accidents in their homes than anywhere else. But, even though these cases can have life-changing consequences, they often go unreported publicly because they happen behind closed doors.

“Raising awareness of the accidents that can happen in our homes and the solutions that are available to avoid them is crucial in terms of prevention. But it is important that we strike a balance between complacency and paranoia and, as this conference will do, consider when regulation is appropriate and when it is a step too far.”

Delegates at the conference, which is sponsored by Safe-T-Light, will include representatives of the health and emergency services, housing associations and safety product manufacturers.

For full details of the programme, plus information about how to book places, call 0121 248 2120, email events@rospa.com or visit www.rospa.com/home/

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