(BPT) - Locks, fire safety, storing dangerous items properly — these are things that likely come to mind when you think of home safety for your family. However, there's one thing in your home that everyone uses daily that poses a huge threat: stairs.
"You may never think of safeguarding your stairs, but falls are the No. 1 reason for emergency room visits," said Thom Disch, author, fall prevention expert and owner of Stop the Slip anti-slip products.
Every second of every day, an adult age 65 or older suffers a fall in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This makes falls the leading cause of injury and injury death in this age group.
"Falls are a big concern as you age, but remember that 75% of falls happen to people under the age of 68, so it's really a concern for everyone, from infant to elderly," added Disch.
Slipping and falling on stairs can dramatically alter someone's quality of life because injury can be painful and recovery complex. To help protect your family, consider these stair safety tips:
Visually assess and make updates
Start by looking at all indoor and outdoor stairs for repair needs. Nails and screws should be flush with the surface. Boards should be strong without cracks or breaks, evenly spaced and level. Concrete and other materials should be free of divots and debris. Make repairs if necessary to prevent trips and falls. Additionally, remove all clutter from stairs, even if decorative.
Add outdoor non-slip treads
Outdoor stairs can be dangerous for your family as well as visitors, especially during winter when rain, sleet, ice and snow can make stairs slippery. A smart solution is Stop the Slip non-slip stair treads and non-slip nosings. Available in different colors, the patented aluminum feature raised traction buttons that are self-cleaning in any weather, making them superior to grit tape and grit paint. Plus, they're simple for any DIYer to install on wood, concrete and brick within minutes.
Add indoor non-slip treads
Although not impacted by the elements, indoor stairs can be slippery as well. Common stair materials like wood, tile and stone can be slick. Stop the Slip ClearGrip Vinyl Treads and ClearGrip Tape can dramatically improve traction on slippery stairs and floors throughout your home while allowing the beauty of your hardwood floor, tile or natural stone to shine through. These mop-friendly options work in dry and wet environments, such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.
Use secure handrails
When it comes to stair safety, the ability to use your hands is as important as your feet. Sturdy handrails are a necessity so people can easily grip on to them to assist in balance while navigating stairs. If possible, having railings on both sides can be even safer than just one. Make sure railings are properly installed and secured well. Check and tighten screws periodically to maintain railing integrity.
Light stairway spaces well
Even during the daytime, stairs can be dim spaces depending on their location. Make sure to illuminate stairs properly to help prevent trips and falls. Outside, porches and entryways should be well-lit. Indoors, light switches should be easily accessible at the top and bottom of stairs. Motion lights can be a smart option indoors and outside, so lights go on automatically whenever movement is detected.
For more information, additional ideas for making your home's stairways safer or to use our solutions configurator to help find your customized solution visit StopTheSlip.com.