5 Ways to Make Your Home Safer
Injuries in the home contribute to millions of medical visits and tens of thousands of fatalities each year. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that around 30,000 fall-related fatalities occur each year. Many of these accidents are preventable. When homeowners consider home improvement projects, improving safety inside and outside should be a priority.
Improve lighting at entrances, stairways, hallways and other frequently traversed areas. Make sure light fixtures use the highest wattage light bulb allowed. Install lighting outdoors by the front door, over the garage and where garbage pails are stored to facilitate safe passage.
Improve traction. Throw rugs and runners can be made more secure with nonslip rubber backings. Nonslip mats can be used inside of showers and bathtubs.
Use shoe trays to reduce puddling in entryways. Mop up spills quickly, and consider installing flooring with a matte or textured surface to improve stability underfoot. Promptly remove snow and ice from driveways and walkways. Heated concrete can help melt precipitation before it accumulates.
Repair loose floorboards and pull carpet taut if it has started to stretch out. Ensure that patio pavers are secure and level, and fix areas of the landscape where water may pool and freeze.
Declutter by removing unnecessary items from rooms to free up more space to get around. Be sure there are no obstructions in walkways, entryways and near doors. Keep staircases clear.
Handrails, grab bars, nonslip stair treads and other devices can make homes safer for people of all ages and abilities. Outfit cabinets and closets with organizers that put frequently used items within easy reach. A sturdy step stool can reduce the risk of injury while reaching for items stored on high shelves.