Stairs are one of the hazardous components of any house, affecting older people the most. According to one study conducted by the University of New South Wales, around 12% of all fall injuries experienced by people over the age of 65 are stair-related. Hence, if you’ve got an elderly family member living in your house, then perhaps it’s time to take another look at just how safe your staircase is.
Here are some tips to help you improve staircase safety:
Check Your Handrails
Railings are a must for any staircase where either one or both sides aren’t hugging a wall. Even if they are, a handrail can definitely make things even safer.
Take a look at the existing handrails. If they’re more decorative than useful, then consider replacing them with ones that are. Additionally, check whether:
- You can wrap your entire hand around it
- It’s free from splinters and chips that can cut your hand
- There are an extra couple of inches at each end for extra stability when you begin to climb up and down.
On the sides of the staircase that are completely open, it can be wise to install bannisters. We highly recommend you get in touch with the best manufacture of bannister rails Melbourne has to offer.
Use a Safety Gate to Block off Access
If you have very small children that have barely learned to walk, it’s a good idea to keep them away from the stairs. The best way to do this is to install a safety gate, either at the base or the top of the stairs.
You can attach one side of the gate to the wall and the other to a bannister. In order to make effective use of it, you need to make sure that’s always kept locked.
Safety gates are also a great idea to protect an elderly family member who may be suffering from a neurological condition such as dementia.
Keep It Free From Clutter
One of the commonest reasons for people falling down stairs is tripping on stuff. Hence, in order to keep yourself and your family safe, make it a habit to keep your stairway free from clutter.
If there are loose boards sticking out from the steps, make sure you get those nailed back down or replaced straight away. If you spill something on it, make sure you clean it up and dry it immediately. Furthermore, we highly recommend against placing loose rugs either on the top or bottom of the stairway. You may slips on these and potentially knock your head on the steps.
Install Stair Lighting
Stair lighting can improve the visibility of steps, especially at night. Ideally, they should be mounted on the wall, about five to six inches above each step for maximum effect.
Proper lighting doesn’t just make your staircase safer. It also makes it look good as well. You can really get creative with it, if you wish.
That’s four excellent tips to improve the safety of our staircase. This is a very important consideration for any home, especially ones with kids and elderly people living in them.