11 handy ways to reduce fall risks at home

October 2, 2015

Falls can be incredibly painful and dangerous. Here are eleven safety tips to help you reduce the risk of falls and accidents in your home.

11 handy ways to reduce fall risks at home

1. Check your lighting

Make sure there are outside lights with high-wattage bulbs (75 watts or more) near all entrances and the garage.

  • Put high-wattage bulbs in all the lamps and overhead lights indoors as well.

2. Add extra phones

The closer the phone is, the less likely you are to run to answer it, reducing your risk of tripping and falling.

3. Visit the flooring shop

If it's time to replace that carpet anyway, consider hard-surface flooring or Berber-style carpeting. Both are less likely to trip you up than most popular deep-pile carpets.

  • Just make sure the flooring isn't slippery.
  • There's even a special kind of hard-surface flooring that's been developed for nursing homes that you might consider for your kitchen or bath. It's designed to provide a firm walking surface, but if you do fall, it reduces the force of impact. It's similar to the type of flooring you might see in a dance or Pilates studio and can be ordered through commercial flooring distributors.

4. Evaluate your stairways

Are the backs of the steps closed in? Are there handrails mounted about waist high on both sides of the staircase? Do the steps have nonskid surfaces?

  • In addition to good lighting, these are all steps designed to reduce your risk of falling on the stairs.

5. Measure your door sills

Doorway thresholds should be no more than one centimetre (1/2 inch) high; otherwise, they're tripping hazards.

  • Replacing high thresholds with lower ones is a task any handyman can handle.

6. Call an electrician

Ask to have outlets added in rooms where you have electrical cords attached to extension cords.

  • The fewer cords, the less likely you are to trip over one of them.
  • Also ask the electrician to install extra light fixtures in dark areas of your home, such as hallways, and make sure you have switches at the top and bottom of your stairs.

7. Buy lots of double-sided carpet tape

Use it to prevent area rugs from slipping and sliding.

  • Also put it on the mats in front of the kitchen sink and in the bathroom.

8. Alarm your pets

A cat weaving in and out between your legs or a dog sneaking up behind you is a fall waiting to happen.

  • Add a small bell or jangling tags to your pet's collar so you're never surprised.

9. Remember curb appeal

Not for selling your house, but for making sure you don't trip and fall when entering or leaving it.

  • Steps should be clutter-free, be in good condition, and have non slip surfaces; handrails should be installed and tightly fastened; and leaves, snow, and ice should be removed as soon as they appear.
  • You can also paint the edge of each step a contrasting color to aid in depth perception.

10. Forget about floor wax

If you must use it, make sure it's the nonskid type.

11. Attach your reading glasses to a chain around your neck

That way, when you walk upstairs — or anywhere else — you can take them off and let them hang.

  • If you keep them on, your far vision isn't good, so you may misjudge a step; if you take them off and hold them in one hand, you're more likely to lose your balance and fall.

Creating a safe home has never been easier! Keep these tips in mind and limit the risk of harmful falls today.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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