A 2017 study in the United States on Stair-related injuries has shown that there were more than 24 Million patients treated in emergency departments due to stair-related injuries in a 23-year period (from 1990 to 2012), with about 1.076 Million patients annually, with young children and the elderly comprising the majority of those who individuals who suffered injuries.
As such, it’s important for homeowners to review the safety of their staircases to avoid having them or their family members ending up as part of this unfortunate statistic. We’ll be taking a look at simple yet effective tips on making your home’s stairs safer:
Light the Way
Proper lighting is the first step towards a safer set of stairs for your home. Without adequate lighting, or having poor light placement, it would be difficult to see where you are going, making it more likely for you to miss a step or trip over the steps. Place light fixtures on the wall(s) beside the staircase at angles that won’t make your shadow cover the steps when you’re going down or up. Low-glare overhead lighting could also be used to make the treads visible without casting solid shadows that would obscure your view. You can go the extra mile by installing staircase lighting (such as individual tread lighting or handrail lighting) which can provide safety as well as a more elegant and modern look to your staircase.
Don’t Skimp on Handrails
Always remember that handrails aren’t just there for aesthetic purposes, they should be functional and can support your weight in case you ever trip or slip and need to hang on to them. Some more contemporary homes have handrail-free designs which can be cool to look at, but you’d be sacrificing your safety net in case you ever lose your footing while going up or down the stairs. To ensure safety, your stairs should have: functional handrails on both sides of the stairs (for stairs that are adjacent to the wall, you can use wall-mounted handrails), with its length covering the entire staircase, installed at elbow height for easier access, and should be designed in a way that an adult can wrap their hand on the handrail.
Install Gates and Nets
If you have kids in your home, it’s best to install gates for your stairs at both ends, as accidents can occur at either end of the staircase. Additionally, the railings on your stairs should also be spaced properly in a way that children won’t be able to slip out of them — if the space between banisters or railings are too wide, you can install safety nets to prevent them from falling through them. If you don’t wish to ruin the aesthetic of your Beverly Hills home’s wrought iron railings with those plastic or synthetic wooden stair gates or unsightly safety nets, there are companies and businesses that manufacture and install customized stair gates and modify railings and banisters.
Lastly, one should regularly clean and maintain the staircase to avoid injuries. Always make sure that the staircase is free from spills and clutters, and to repair any loose railings, banisters, treads, as well as watch out for any nails sticking out.
Your home should be a safe place for everyone in it. Unsafe stairs can pose as a hazard not only to elderly or young children but to everyone in the household. So make sure to keep these pointers in mind, and try to assess the safety of your stair the next time you’re free, and make the necessary adjustments to make reduce the risks of stair-related accidents and injuries.