Staircases serve the simple function of allowing movement to another level, maximizing the ground area of a home. Staircases come in many forms. From simple and functional to elegant and detailed, staircases have become a means of complementing the theme of homes.
Staircases are a high-traffic area, and considering almost every person in your home has to climb up and down at least once a day it is paramount to ensure yours is safe. Falls on stairs are one of the most common injuries in the United States, particularly for young children and older adults. Being able to move through stairs quickly during an emergency is also a reason to invest in their safety. Here are our tips for the whole family to be safer on stairs.
You may have “memorized” your staircase, but accidents happen when you least expect it. Make it a habit to look where you’re going and hold on to the handrail. Take your eyes off that cell phone or book you’re reading.
Did you know that the International Residential Code has building guidelines to ensure stairs are safe? A well-built staircase can actually decrease accidents and help you retrieve your balance mid-fall.
Avoid putting toys, shoes and storage containers on your stairs, these are all trip hazards, especially in low-light conditions.
A shiny staircase may look nice, but they’re not so safe to walk on. Use a wet cloth to clean your stairs and dry them immediately.
Make sure you have lighting for both the top and bottom landings of your staircase. If you can, install lights on or near the steps. Aside from the safety benefits, this also ups your home’s design and appearance.
If you have little ones roaming around, place child safety gates at the top and at the bottom of your staircase, so they cannot access it by themselves.
This is important for children or elderly people living in your house. Carpets lessen the chance of slipping, and can also reduce injury in case of a fall.
If you or anyone in your family has difficultly walking up and down the stairs, consider building a stair lift. Safety step markers made of fluorescent tape can help guide even the visually challenged. Attaching a 2 inch strip to the edge of each step will make the steps more visible and help minimize wear. Alternately, you can make your own non slip steps with this helpful guide from Martha Stewart.
Staircase safety is a family affair. Children have to do their part to keep things free of clutter and help if they see someone needs assistance. If you have any other safety tips to share, let us know in the comments below!
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