4387.1 - Household Safety, New South Wales, Oct 1998  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/1999  Ceased
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March 26, 1999
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Majority of NSW households have a smoke alarm - ABS

Three out of five households in NSW had a smoke alarm in October 1998, according to results from a household safety survey released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In a large majority of these households (94%), the smoke alarm was working at the time of the survey.

In Sydney, the number of households with a smoke alarm has grown from 10% in 1992 to 55% in 1998.

In October 1998, 47% of NSW households had at least one electrical safety switch. In Sydney, the number of households with an electrical safety switch has more than doubled between 1992 and 1998, increasing from 21% to 49%.

The main reason given for not having an alarm or electrical safety switch was different for rental households compared with households where people owned or were buying their own home. "Rental property - landlord's responsibility" was the main reason given for rental households, while for owner/buyer households it was "haven't got around to buying one".

All hot water systems can have their water temperature adjusted but it in some cases this cannot be done by the householder. Around a third of NSW households (35%) had an easily adjustable hot water system. However only 72% knew whether or not their hot water system was in fact easily adjustable.

Nursery furniture can present a threat to children's safety due to the risk of falling or entrapment. The most common items of nursery furniture in NSW households with children aged 0-4 resident or visiting were prams or strollers (41%) followed by cots (39%) and high chairs (33%). Only 8% of households with young children had baby walkers, but about one-third of these (31%) had stairs or steps in the home.

Sixty-nine per cent of NSW households with a pram or stroller had used it in the last four weeks. Of those NSW households with a high chair, 62% had used it in the last four weeks.

As safety standards improve over time, newer items of nursery furniture are generally more likely to have a higher level of safety than older items. The majority of prams or strollers used in the previous four weeks were purchased new in the last five years (76%). Just over half of high chairs used in the same period were purchased new in the last five years.

Shoulder harnesses provide an extra level of safety in prams, strollers and high chairs. However, the survey showed that 34% of prams and strollers and 30% of high chairs which did not have a shoulder harness restraint attached were purchased new in the last five years.

Details are in Household Safety, New South Wales, October 1998 (cat. no. 4387.1) available from ABS Bookshops. The summary of the publication's main findings may be found on this site.