HC Deb 14 March 1977 vol 928 cc16-9
20. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what are the latest figures available for the number of accidents in the home; and if he will break these down according to age and type of accident.

The Minister of State, Department of Prices and Consumer Protection (Mr. John Fraser)

Statistics provided by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys show that, in 1975, 5,081 persons died as a result of accidents in the home in England and Wales and 1,094 in residential institutions. I will, with permission, circulate details in the Official Report.

Fuller statistical information about home accidents will be provided in future by the Accident Surveillance System recently set up by my Department.

Mr. Roberts

Does my hon. Friend agree that home safety councils are operating on a shoestring, and that in view of the number of accidents there is an urgent need to provide greater resources here? Will he study the recent issue by the German Government of stamps dealing with home safety interests? Will he look at this proposal with a view to discussing with the Post Office the possbility of something similar in this country?

Mr. Fraser

I shall look at that proposal, of which I have not heard before. We have recently increased the grant to RoSPA, and publicity on home safety is promoted by my Department, by local authorities and by many other bodies.

Mr. Rathbone

Can the hon. Gentleman give statistics of how many accidents have been caused by the linkage of cookery machinery, ovens and fires to North Sea gas? What steps is he taking to minimise these?

Mr. Fraser

I am sorry, but I cannot give those figures because the accident figures so far have been analysed by injury and not by cause of accident. The new Accident Surveillance System will give not only the injury but the causes, and we hope to get meaningful information from the statistics towards the middle of this year.

Mr. Freud

Will the hon. Gentleman accept that his Department is already broken down by age and accident?

Following is the information:

All Ages 0–14 15–64 65 and over
Home Residential Institution Home Residential Institution Home Residential Institution Home Residential Institution
Accidental poisoning by drugs and medicaments 484 13 14 2 371 10 99 1
Accidental poisoning by other solid and liquid substances 68 3 3 57 3 8
Accidental poisoning by gases and vapours 123 11 62 50
Falls 2,530 860 43 340 51 2,147 809
Burns 593 49 103 164 7 326 42
Scalds and accidents caused by corrosive liquids 32 3 10 2 20 3
Electrocutions 54 8 38 8
Inhalation and ingestion of food 205 99 72 1 92 47 41 51
Injury undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted 536 26 11 1 400 13 125 12
Other accidents 456 41 153 1 135 25 636 25
Total 5,081 1,094 438 5 1,663 156 2,980 933