In 2013, nearly 30,000 people died as a result of slips, trips, and falls, according to the National Safety Council. In addition, for people who are 65 years old or older, falls are the leading cause of injury-related fatalities. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control , 2.5 million adults were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries during 2013, the last year for which statistics are available.
Given these statistics, a home where slips, trips, and falls can occur can be hazardous and even deadly for your loved ones and friends. Fortunately, though, there are a number of things home-owners can do to eliminate slips, trips, and falls and make your home safe. Most of them involve making areas secure so they don’t move and cause a fall; others ensure that a person falling can stop themselves.
The following are home safety measures you can do:
- Make sure there is plenty of room for walking by arranging furniture with an eye to walkways that are free of lamp cords and any other impediments
- Remove any items that may cause someone to trip, including clutter, children’s toys, and pet toys
- For areas rugs and runners, put adhesive or other material on them to make sure they are securely affixed to the floor.
- Place railings on either side of any stairs
- Make sure all stairways and rooms are well lit
- Install nightlights in hallways and kitchens
- Make sure that all baths and showers are equipped with nonskid mats
- Wipe up any spills right away. There is always the chance that someone will come walking in and their legs will shoot out from underneath them
- Be a responsible homeowner; make sure all walkways are free from ice and snow during the winter
- Particularly if your household contains elderly people, install grab bars in the bathroom so that they can break a fall should they start to trip.