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Health

Do You Know How Dangerous Your Own Home Is?

We told some people and it shit them up.
November 25, 2011, 12:00am

It's a scary world out there. If you're not trying to avoid the guy who lives downstairs because you were screaming like a girl in the communal stairwell at 3AM last Tuesday, you're fleeing escapees from the local leprosarium as packs of them fight pitched battles with bourgeois looters in the streets. So is it really any surprise that we're all so reluctant to leave the sanctuary of our own homes these days? "Well yes, it is," warns a report emailed to us today by Lindam, the UK's "number one safety brand". We have no real idea why they felt they needed to share this information with us, but according to a survey they've done, most accidents actually occur inside the home. Moreover, the vast majority of those domestic tragedies play out in the lounge: ostensibly the most relaxing room in the house. Terrified, betrayed and armed with a dangerously small amount of knowledge on the subject at hand, we took to the streets to warn the public that their lovenests and ladpads might actually be life-destroying Houses on the Borderland in disguise.

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Sacha.

VICE: Hi Sacha. Do you know what the most dangerous room in the house is?

Sacha: The kitchen.

No, you're wrong, it's actually the lounge.

I suppose that makes sense. One of my friends once sat bare-bottomed in a living room fireplace. She had to go to the hospital.

I bet she was embarrassed.

Well, she was about five or six.

OK. Were there any rooms that you were particularly scared of as a child?

The airing cupboard was scary. But I actually spent a lot of time in there because it was warm, and a good hiding place.

When I was a kid I went around my friend Omar's house and we had to hide in his bedroom cupboard when his dad came home from work because otherwise we'd get hit with a belt. What were you hiding from?

My sisters. They used to pull my hair.

That's not very nice. Why did they do that?

I don't know.

Well this has been a great conversation. Bye, Sacha!

Alex.

VICE: Hey Alex, are you aware of just how dangerous your house is?

Alex: The kitchen or the living room.

It is the living room! Well done, why did you say lounge?

Because there are people smoking fags, falling asleep and the settee burning, electric fires, all sorts of electrical appliances that might explode.

OK. Could you give us an example of an appliance exploding?

Well I know that televisions sometimes overheat. I had a television explode on me in my twenties, we were watching a documentary on heavy metal and a guy in it was throwing a TV out the window. My TV was an old TV and suddenly it just burst into flames.

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Really?

Yeah, maybe it was too "heavy metal" for the telly! [laughs] Or maybe it was a demonic band playing, I forget who it was, and they possessed the TV.

Do you think that's likely?

Realistically, no. It was probably just old.

Probably. Do you think these kind of surveys are useful?

Well, to be honest you're always hearing about paracetamol giving you cancer or sugar giving you a heart attack. It can seem like there's something new every week, I try to take it with a pinch of salt.

Too much salt is bad for your heart as well.

OK then, a really, really small pinch of salt. [laughs]

Oh, Alex.

Asifa.

VICE: Hi Asifa, which room in your house are you most scared of?

Asifa: I would say the bathroom.

OK. Why do say that?

Because you can slip, fall down, there's electrical stuff like a hair dryer that could fall in the bath. Like in that Mel Gibson movie.

What Women Want?

Yeah. That one, I'd imagine that happens a lot.

The hair dryer thing maybe. Are you aware of how many accidents happen in homes everyday?

Well you hear about people dying putting their socks on and stuff, but I've never experienced it.

No, nor me. And still, you know, what are they gonna do? Ban socks? Some people would say that all these health and safety surveys are a "pain in the arse" and it's just the "nanny state" trying to meddle in our lives with stories about "paracetamol giving you cancer" and "salt being bad for your heart." What do you think?

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I don't really care.

Fair enough.

Bobbi.

VICE: Bobbi, did you or any of your family have a domestic accident growing up?

Bobbi: My dad's probably the worst one.

What did your dad do?

On holiday he was chopping firewood, and he chopped off the top of his finger. Another time, he was dismantling a shed, and stepped back onto a rusty nail. There have also been quite a few with saws and axes.

Have you ever been caught up in the crossfire of these man-versus-DIY wars?

Once he swung a sledgehammer and it went about an inch from my head, I was about five. I remember me and my mum hiding under the slide.

Statistically, which room do you think is the danger zone for accidents?

I would say the bedroom. There's probably quite a lot of sexually-related accidents that happen. My mum's friend's a nurse and sees quite a lot of that.

What like?

Conjoinings.

Conjoinings?

Clampings have happened…

What do you mean by "clampings"?

[pauses] The woman has climaxed and has clamped onto the man. They're stuck.

Oh. That sounds like quite a cute injury, is it common?

My mate's mum has seen it about five times, so it's not really common but it must happen a lot.

Wow. Thanks Bobbi.

No worries.