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Off-the-job safety alert: Home injuries kill 20,000 annually

Nearly 20,000 Americans die each year from falling down stairwells, tripping over lamp cords and other accidents inside their houses and apartments, according to the not-for-profit Home Safety Council.

The group estimated in a national report that more than 20 million medical visits result from home injuries each year. It estimated these injuries cost society nearly $380 billion a year in medical expenses, lost quality of life and work loss.

The report found falls, which accounted for 6,750 deaths and 5.6 million injuries per year, were the most common fatal home injury, followed by poisonings, fires, inhalations, suffocation and drowning.

The report, based on safety studies and a survey of about 1,000 U.S. households, found older adults were more likely to die from home injuries, with persons older than 75 experiencing injury deaths at rates three to ten times higher than other age groups.

Men are more likely than women to die from home injuries, with males accounting for 60 percent of injury deaths, according to the report.

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