Prevent Falls: Check Your Home’s Steps for Safety

builder and foreman looking at new home build and pointing at issues

The stairs into and throughout your home can be dangerous. They are one of the most important areas of the home to keep safe.

If someone falls in your home, your home’s liability insurance may provide coverage. However, this only applies to visitors. In all cases, keeping your family safe is critical also. A tumble down the stairs is dangerous. A person who hits his or her head is at high risk of injury. Broken bones are a concern, too. There are several ways to improve safety on steps to prevent falls.

Declutter Stairs To Prevent Falls

Never store items on the steps. This includes using the steps as short-term storage. Keep items away from the landing as well. A misstep here can lead to a significant fall. Someone looking at their phone as they approach the steps can fall, sustaining injury.

Check the Stability of Your Home’s Steps for Safety

Steps can experience wear and tear over time. Take a look at them closely. Look at the way the treads line up. Are they even? Do you see gaps forming at the seams? When you walk on them, do they feel as though they are bending?

Any sign of damage needs immediate care. You can repair them. You do not always have to replace them. However, ensure a licensed contractor does the work for you.

Keep Railings in Place To Help With Falls

Even for just one or two steps leading into the home, railings are necessary. They help people get up and down. They add stability to the steps. If a visitor came to your home, he or she could tumble down the side of the steps if there is no railing present. Be sure the railing remains safe. It should be sturdy and should not move.

Avoid Carpeting on Stairs For Safety

In some cases, a low pile carpet can be okay. In most cases, however, it is best to keep the surface of the step clear wood. This helps minimize the risks of someone falling. Over time, carpeting can fray. When this happens, it creates damage to the carpeting. This increases fall risks.

As noted, home liability insurance may help cover the medical bills of those who visit your home and fall. Yet, don’t forget to protect yourself as well. It is important to keep your steps safe and secure. It can significantly enhance the overall safety of your home. And it helps to ensure a simple fall does not lead to significant loss.

FAQ’s About Preventing Falls and Checking Your Home’s Steps for Safety

What are some common causes of falls on stairs?

Some common causes of falls on stairs include poor lighting, loose or worn steps, lack of handrails, and clutter on the stairs.

How can I prevent falls on stairs?

You can prevent falls on stairs by ensuring that the stairs are well-lit, keeping the steps clear of clutter, fixing any loose or worn steps, and installing handrails on both sides of the stairs.

What should I do if I notice a loose or worn step on my stairs?

If you notice a loose or worn step on your stairs, you should have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible to prevent falls.

How can I improve the lighting on my stairs?

You can improve the lighting on your stairs by installing brighter light bulbs, adding additional light fixtures, or installing motion-sensor lights that turn on automatically when someone approaches the stairs.

What are some other safety features I can add to my stairs?

Other safety features you can add to your stairs include non-slip treads, carpeting, or stair runners, which can provide better traction and reduce the risk of falls.

What should I do if I have trouble navigating stairs?

If you have trouble navigating stairs, you may want to consider installing a stair lift or elevator to make it easier and safer to move between floors.

How often should I inspect my stairs for safety hazards?

It is recommended that you inspect your stairs for safety hazards at least once a year, or more frequently if you notice any issues.

What should I do if I notice a safety hazard on my stairs?

If you notice a safety hazard on your stairs, such as a loose step or broken handrail, you should have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible to prevent falls.

Are there any other areas of my home I should check for safety hazards?

Yes, you should also check other areas of your home for safety hazards, such as loose rugs, cluttered floors, and uneven surfaces.

What should I do if I fall on my stairs?

If you fall on your stairs, seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not feel injured. It is important to get checked out to ensure that there are no serious injuries.

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