If you’re not more careful in preventing tripping hazards in your home, slips and falls can seriously injure you or a loved one. It can also impact a visitor to your home and have you end up in court.
Want to minimize injuries at your home? It all begins with being more proactive in preventing falls before they occur and incorporating some simple universal design features.
Maintain your property. Make sure you’re always maintaining the property and that there is not a dangerous condition present. You can hire a contractor to come in and inspect your premises. But there are also many things you can do yourself to make your home as safe as possible. For instance, if you have a loose floor board or a wet floor, be sure to mop up the floor or put a nail in that floor board.
Level flooring. While you may do your best to make sure your floor is dry or there are no loose floor boards, there are some common overlooked areas that present a tripping hazard for your employees and patients. The mis-elevation between one floor level and another is often a cause for trips. A change of elevation as much as 3/4 of an inch can be a tripping hazard for some people. Leveling them can prevent future accidents.
Zero step entry. Whether you are a senior who has arthritic knees, a child with a physical disability, or even a young mother pushing her baby in a stroller, creating at least one zero step entry makes it easier and safer to go in and out of the house. At least one no-step entry to the house either through the front, back, or garage door is recommended.
Doormats and carpeting. Examine the door mats or carpeting around the doorways. Are any of them turned up or folded in a way that can trip up a patient?
Sliding doors. Sliding doors can also present a problem. If the door slams on someone’s shoulders as they are walking through, it can cause some people, particularly elderly people, to fall. Take the time to inspect these items and other places in your home that can be a potential tripping or slipping hazard on a regular basis.
Wider Doorways. Entryway doors should be at least 32 inches wide and interior doors at least 30 inches wide to allow for ample room for anyone to pass through.
Lever-Style Door Handles. These handles will make it easier for anyone to open and shut your front or back door because it doesn’t require any grasping or twisting to operate.
Covered Entryway. Not only will a covering help protect the porch from precipitation, but yourself as well from rain and snow, preventing potential slips and falls.
Safe Stairs. If you have steps leading up to one of your entryways, and you do not want a zero step entry, at least make sure your handrails are sturdy and in good shape to make it easier for you to climb up and down.