ICS Magazine

Fashion for wood flooring Britons

February 19, 2004
LONDON (AFP) - Feb. 19 - A vogue among householders to replace carpets with bare wooden floors might be doing wonders for their minimalist credentials, but only at high cost to their health.

New accident statistics showed that more than 12,000 Britons a year have to go to hospital after falling on their floors, against a figure of just 2,900 five years ago, The Times said in its Thursday edition.

Citing information from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), the newspaper said that the quadrupling of such injuries appeared to have been caused by Britain's new love affair with wood floors. Spurred on by hugely popular television shows extolling the virtues of home improvement, millions of people have ripped up their carpets, but as yet seemed less well versed in the art of moving across a shiny surface.

"We put this increase down to the popularity of (home) makeover programs," a ROSPA spokesman told the newspaper. "It would be good if they could give some safety advice amongst all the fashion tips. Socks can be dangerous, so perhaps they could recommend fixing thin rugs to wooden floors to stop people falling."

Other domestic items also proved increasingly perilous during 2002, the last year for which figures had been collated, ROSPA said.

The number of people falling off ladders rose from 10,000 to 14,000 in 1999, while accidents with potted plants hit 5,300, from 3,500.