Preventing Injuries and Falls on Stairs and Staircases – 3 Tips

Every year many people fall and get hurt or die on stairs and staircases. This happens not only on dimly lit and slippery stairs, for example outside when it's rainy or icy, but on just about any set of stairs anywhere.

This was really brought home to me this summer when two events occurred. First, my elderly mother in law fell down her basement stairs. She was found by the gardener, and may have been unconsciously briefly. She definitely banged her head hard. She had her head examined as well as the rest of herself at the hospital. Fortunately, she's a tough old bird and other then being quite bruised and hurting, it was not serious. Secondly, I slipped and almost fell on an outdoor staircase. It was slightly wet, and nothing serious happened, but had I fallen it could have been a long and dangerous fall.

Here are 3 safety tips to prevent falls on stairs.

1) Clean off those stairs. It does not matter if it's leaves on an outdoor staircase, or "stuff" on an indoor staircase, people can slip because of it. Our indoor stairs are no longer the storage area they seemed to be – the junk is gone.

2) Install a handrail if appropriate. I did this a while back on a cell staircase that worried me.

3) Install stair treads on all potentially slippery stairs. These can be simple cheap rubber or vinyl treads, fancy carpet treads, or even heated treads that melt snow and ice!