Preventing Falls on The Stairs
The vast majority of stairway falls result from a loss of balance. So why do we need to worry so much about falls on stairs?Stairs of all types have been used since ancient times, and because they are inherently hazardous, people have been falling on them, getting hurt or even killed in the process.
The fact is that some incidents can be caused by inattention, unsafe behavior, and inappropriate footwear.
But the good news is you can take a few simple steps (pun intended) to make your stairway and home safer, and prevent falls in the process.
Limit Upstairs UseIf it is possible to arrange a house to avoid having to climb stairs, do so. A stair fall can easily cause severe injuries.
Check the CarpetMake sure that there is no carpet that’s sticking up or ruffled. If carpeting starts to become loose in a stairwell, tack it down or reinstall it completely.
Inspect Handrails OftenLoose handrails are of no use to you because you cannot trust them to hold your weight when you push on them. Inspect hand rails to make sure that they do not easily move in your hands and repair them as soon as you notice something loose.
Go SlowlyIt’s not a race. Going a little slower on the stairs has the potential to save your life.
Repair WalkwaysEven a little crack can cause a big problem. If you go out often, hire someone to repair any damage to walkways.
Keep Walkways CleanArrange to have leaves, snow, and ice removed from stairs and walkways. Use salt or sand throughout the winter months. Kitty litter is especially effective.
Because stairway accidents can cause severe injury and even death, building codes for stairs and ramps are justifiably very rigorous. Good design can substantially reduce the potential for mis-stepping by providing the means to retrieve our balance, but even the best design cannot eliminate falling hazards entirely. The need for proper design also applies to ramps.
Learn more about preventing falls with an automatic fall detection medical alert system here, or search online with hashtag #NoFalls.