Stairs and Home Safety
Two years ago, my husband and I went to San Jose for a couple of days and visited the Winchester Mystery House. The owner of the house, the wife of the founder of Winchester Guns was told that her house was being haunted by the ghosts of people killed by her husband’s guns. She did non-stop construction on the house to appease and confuse the spirits. There are doorways that lead to drop-offs outside, or just open to solid walls. Floors between rooms are at different heights. Everything is very disjointed.
What stuck out to me most though, were the stairs. Sarah Winchester had arthritis and hip problems, so she had very small steps installed so she didn’t have to lift her legs very high. The steps weren’t even an inch apart in distance. Our tour group kept bumping their toes into steps and mismeasuring where the next step would be because they were so unexpected. While most people don’t have these problems in their home, they should still be thinking about stair safety.
Stairs are one of the leading causes of home accidents, particularly for the elderly. Walking safely up and down stairs is something many of us take for granted, but it does take a certain level of coordination and depth perception. Stairs are also one of the recommended areas to check for safety before attempting to sell your home. Below are some measures you can take to make the stairs in your home safer for everyone.
Most stairs have railing, but if you live in an old home, you might want to consider an upgrade. Railings today are installed at certain heights for optimal safety and usefulness. You’ll also want to make sure your railings are securely installed. Stainless steel railing systems are durable, sturdy, and easy to clean.
You know how in old movies, there are sometimes electric chairs attached to a wall that go up and down the stairs? That’s a stair lift, and they can be super useful if you’ve lost the ability to walk up stairs, but live in a multi-story home. Stair lifts can be a process to install, but once there, they prevent a lot of risks that lead to accidents.
Besides these installations, there are some common sense strategies to keeping your stairs safe. Avoid leaving items on the stairs that can be overlooked and tripped on. Make sure your stairway is well lit, and that steps are consistently spaced and level. Paying to make safety improvements now is a lot better than paying medical bills later.
Have you made safety improvements to the stairs in your home? Share in the comments!