While we all want to feel safe and secure at home, the reality is that many homes are not specifically designed for our safety or mobility. Whether young or old, accidents can happen in the home, often which can cause serious injury. While more attention needs to be paid in the homes of elderly people or young children, all homeowners should review the conditions of their homes to see if they promote safety and access, as well as emergency precautions should such circumstances arise. Here we look at 4 home improvement tips you really shouldn’t ignore, but should take into consideration when making your home a safer and more pleasant environment to be in.
Falls are a major risk to anyone over the age of 50, because although we might not feel it, it’s after this age that our bone density and muscle strength starts to significantly decline. From this age, this risk of taking a fall and breaking a bone or a joint is severe, and in some cases there can be dire consequences. 10% of those who suffer a hip fracture after a fall, don’t live past the first year after their fall, due to a decrease in mobility and overall health. This is why it’s important to prevent falls in the first place.
Ensure walkways in your home are clear and safe, including paved pathways wherever you can so that the ground is smooth and easy to walk upon. Place hand rails in potentially slippery areas like the bathroom or front steps and include ramps if stairs are difficult. Place non slip coverings over slippery surfaces like tiles, polished wood and stone.
Be kitchen safe
The kitchen is a site of many household dangers, from hot surfaces to sharp knives, and dangerous chemicals. Keep all dangerous utensils and chemicals out of reach or locked away to prevent accidents and poisoning. Don’t leave things hanging where they could fall, including saucepans and frypans with handles facing outwards. Mop up any spills quickly, and make sure the floor is non slip.
It can be helpful to have some fire preventive tools in the kitchen too, such as a fire blanket or a small fire extinguisher. Always have emergency contact number clearly posted on the fridge in case an emergency does occur.
Cluttered rooms and walkways are just accidents waiting to happen. Cluttered spaces can promote trips, slips and falls, as well as mask infestations of pest, or promote fires. Clear out any unnecessary objects by thoroughly cleaning the house, and putting into storage any items that aren’t needed. Make sure that every item in your home has a place to belong, where it can be put away and not left prone to accidents.
When clearing out your belongings, remember to be brutal about things you don’t need, and see if you can donate them to a charity rather than just throw them away. External storage can be useful as well if you live in a small home with little storage space.
Bathrooms are often tiled and full of water, which makes them a place that is risky for falls. Ensuring some basic bathroom safety measures can help to improve the safety of the bathroom. If the bathroom is tiled, all tiles should be in good shape and not cracking or missing. Non-slip coating, or non-slip mats should be used on the floors to prevent slips which can easily occur on wet, tiled floors. Placing hand rails in bathrooms can be particularly advantageous, whether in the shower, near the hand basin or next to the toilet. This can really help those with reduced mobility.
Keeping your bathroom dry and well ventilated is another way to stay safe and healthy in your bathroom. Mop up puddles and spills and use an exhaust fan to clear steam, as this helps to prevent the growth of unsightly and unhealthy mould. With these 4 tips you can make your home and safer, cleaner and less accident prone environment for both young and old alike.