Safer house design handbook to be developed

Issue 24 – February 2011

Accident Compensation Corporation has contracted Standards New Zealand to develop a handbook on safer house design. The handbook will replace the existing Standard, Safer house design (Guidelines to reduce injury at home) NZS 4102:1996. The handbook will provide a vital resource for home owners and DIY enthusiasts to enable them to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury by accident in the home.

The home is an unregulated environment and it is difficult to change attitudes towards safety. NZS 4102 describes factors to consider when designing a home. These factors help to reduce the likelihood of an injury or accident occurring in association with building elements, fittings, or amenities.

To help to improve safety:

  • the handbook will be developed as an easy to follow guide. It will suggest best practice design solutions above the minimum requirements of legislation
  • several free booklets will also be developed on specific topics, such as kitchen design or steps and stairs in the home. Following the tips in these booklets will help home owners and DIY enthusiasts to reduce injury in the home.

Consumers will be asked to provide comment on the draft handbook during the public comment phase in mid-2011.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please email Hagen Kerr, Standards New Zealand Project Manager at

Published in building.