5 Ways you can safety-proof your home to prevent falls and injuries
The home is supposed to be a safe place for you and your loved ones, but perhaps unbeknown to you, it is fraught with unseen dangers. For example, few people know that at least a third of people over 65 years fall every year in the comfort of their homes, leading to serious injuries or death.
However, seniors are not the only ones susceptible to falls in the home. We have expectant moms and young kids too. In fact, in a home that is not fall-proofed, anyone can fall and suffer a fatal injury.
Considering the losses you are likely to suffer if you or a loved one suffers a fatal fall in the home, it is essential that you up the safety in your house. Here are a few ways you can fall-proof your home.
1. Start with the bathroom
Water makes surfaces slippery. Combine it with soap or detergents, as is often the case in bathrooms, and you have a safety hazard. So how can you safety proof your bathroom?
- Install grab bars for people to hold on to when getting in and out of tubs or the shower
- Put non-slip rugs on the bathroom floors and a non -slip rubber mat inside the bathtub
- Get rid of any obstructive furniture or clutter in the bathroom that can cause people to trip and fall
- Make sure the bathroom is well lit so that it’s easy to walk around without banging into stuff or falling over them,
- Fix any leaking water outlets and ensure the bathroom floor has absorbent mats that dry up any water.
2. Make sure the stairs are safe
The other place in the home that many people fall is the stairs. Causes of falls on stairways include cluttered steps, carpets that are not installed properly, and liquid spills. Here is what you can do to make your stairs are safe.
- Secure any carpets on the stairs and make sure they are made of textured material that prevents slipping
- Make sure the stairs area is always well lit. A great precaution is to install motion sensor lights underfoot and overhead that light up automatically when a person is walking on the stairs to help with visibility at night.
- Prohibit clutter of any kind on the staircase, such as kids’ toys. Designate a kids’ play area, so that your children do not have to play everywhere in the house and leave their toys scattered around.
3. How safe are the floor surfaces in the home?
If you have slippery floors in the home, then accidental falls will be a regular occurrence, especially for kids and seniors. To keep your floors fall-proof consider;
- Installing carpets with traction. Make sure they are well secured to the floor to avoid tripping anyone.
- Putting non-slip pads under rugs to make sure they are always securely anchored to the floor.
- Setting up storage space for clutter such as kids and pets toys so that nobody trips on them when they are left lying around on the floor.
4. Get rid of clutter in the home
Do you love to collect lots of stuff for your home? Well, it could be a safety hazard. The more things you have in your home, the easier it is for people to knock into or trip over them.
If you must have lots of items such as furniture and other pieces of decor, you need to organize them. Make sure there are spacious walk areas for people to maneuver around without banging into objects or falling over them.
Sometimes falls also occur when people are reaching out for things that are hard to grab. For example, food items in your pantry, cutlery in your top kitchen cabinets, or linen in cupboards.
If you are putting stuff in hard to reach areas to keep kids and pets from getting to them, a perfect solution is to kid-proof or pet-proof any vulnerable storage spaces. That way, adults can easily get to items in storage, but kids and pets cannot.
5. Check the safety of your walkways and driveway
Another area where people are prone to falls is the outside walkways and driveway. It often happens in wet weather or when there is a project going in the compound involving water, such as washing a pet or watering the garden.
You can fall-proof your outdoor walkways and driveway in several ways.
- Set up handrails where necessary especially if there is a sloping surface or steps.
- Place bright motion sensor lights all over the area so that people can see where they are stepping when it’s dark
- Make sure the walkway and driveway surfaces are textured instead of using smooth tiles or flooring material. That will provide grip for anyone walking on the surface so that chances of slipping and falling are minimized.
Maybe you need a professional advice?
Whether you are looking to buy a new house or do some maintenance in your current one, it’s always advisable to fall-proof your home. You can call an expert home builder or contractor and let the professionals handle the more difficult jobs. They will also advise you on other ways to make your home safe for you and the people you love.