Getting the Most out of a Home and Garden

Safety Tips for Your Residential Stairway

Staircases, or stairways, allow for convenient, up-and-down movement of people and the items they may be carrying from one floor of the building to another. But if adequate safety steps are not put in place, staircases can be a source of bad injuries, as the risk of falling down is always imminent. Do not wait until someone you care for gets hurt due to a staircase-related accident to act: You better be safe than sorry. Here are a couple of things you could do to prevent falls on your home's stairway.

Integrate hand rails into your stairway system

Hand rails are critical to the safety of your staircases. Besides providing much-needed support when someone is climbing up or down the stairway, they serve as the first line of protection in case of a slip or trip on the surface of the stair. Gripping onto the handrail with one hand provides you with two points of contact on the stairway (with your hand and both feet) at all times. This gives you extra protection in the event of a fall incident. If your current staircase does not have hand rails, it would be prudent to have them installed as soon as possible.

Ensure your staircase stays visible

Most often than not, people lose their footing on the stairs due to poor visibility. The visibility of your stairway is of utmost importance because it facilitates proper coordination of steps as someone is moving up or down the staircase. If the staircase is not properly lit, a person can miss a step and end up painfully descending to the floors.  

All stairways in your home must have good lighting conditions to prevent any unfortunate falls. You can achieve this by installing lights along the stairway or on the ceiling above the stair to direct people when it gets dark. Make sure to install light fixtures of good quality so as to facilitate excellent visibility as the users are negotiating the stairs.

Declutter the stairway

Your staircase is not the place to leave toys, shoes, clothes, or anything else that can cause someone to fall. The presence of these foreign objects on your staircase steps can and will compromise the safety of the system. Even though you might not be able to keep your entire house looking orderly at all times, your staircase is one place that should never be left cluttered. Make it a habit to immediately pick up any foreign items abandoned on your stairway.