Stairways, though useful, can be hazardous and can cause falls and serious injury. Preventing accidents on stairs comes down to knowing what can be hazardous in stairways. If you have a stairwell, learn how to make it as safe as possible to avoid any unforeseeable accidents in the future.
If your stairway lacks handrails, this can be a big hazard. Handrails are important in the instance of a trip, slip or fall. In these cases, having a handrail to grab on to can help prevent grave injury. Make sure that your stairway has a sturdy handrail that is properly installed.
Spills in stairways can provide an area that is easy to lose your footing on when walking up or down. Spills occur a lot when you have an entry stairway, as anything from wet shoes to a wet umbrella can leave behind a small spill. Should you spill something on your stairway, clean it up immediately, as you don't want to risk forgetting about it and possibly slipping on it later.
Often seen in entry stairways, people will leave their bikes, shoes, umbrellas and other objects that might bring mess into the home. This can create quite the hazard, as you may forget you left the object in the stairway and later trip over it, causing a fall. Never leave objects lying in the stairway, especially if you share the stairway with others in an apartment building.
Lighting in stairways can also be hazardous if not properly utilized. All stairways need some sort of visibility to avoid trips and slips, and poor to no lighting can be an easy contributor to accidents. Ensure that your stairway has good light fixtures that allow for good visibility, so that you can avoid tripping over steps, objects or spills that may be in your stairway.
Poorly made stairs are another major hazard in stairways. Often old stairs will have loose boards or nails that stick out, which can lead to various injuries. Your foot can go through weak boards or protruding nails, or you can trip over boards not properly secured. So evaluate each step of your stairway to ensure there are no loose odds and ends that can lead to injuries.
- Photo Credit outdoor stairways image by Sherri Camp from Fotolia.com
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