How to fall-proof your home
Try our 10 steps to help prevent slips, trips and falls in every zone of your home.
1. Add illumination
Look at where your lights and switches are located inside and outside your home and map out where more may be needed. “Consider adding path lights and sensor lights by your front door,” suggests Tanya from Arlec, who also recommends affixing LED strip lights to light up stairways and handrails.
2. Invest in storage
If your floor is a messy minefield, add storage to clear the clutter. Consider a shoe rack beside the front door, cube storage with pull-out baskets for corralling books and magazines and hang shopping bags on a stylish wall hanger or hooks.
3. Manage cables
Trailing cords and cables can be a hazard, so use cable organisers around desks and entertainment units and look for cord clips, clamps, wire saddles and adhesive cable management systems to keep cables tidy and off the floor.
4. Fix those rugs
A quick fix to anchor rugs, doormats and hallway runners, and to secure upturned corners, is to use adhesive gripper tape, which you can cut to size and stick to the floor underneath. You’ll instantly feel the difference underfoot.
5. Choose floor mats
In wet areas like the kitchen and bathroom, use floor mats to soak up splashes and tread more safely. For comfort and stability, look for a slip-resistant bath mat – and don’t forget an all rubber anti-slip mat for the bottom of the shower cubicle or bath, as this is a common site for bad falls.
6. Try a night light
Use nightlights to create a soft ambient glow, which will help guide you in the right direction, suggests Tanya. Try a model that can be set to automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn, or a motion sensor light, which switches on when movement is detected in the dark and switches off after approximately 30 seconds, giving you light when you need it.
7. Grab a rail or two
A sturdy rail can enhance your stability in a tight or slippery spot – and they don’t have to be obvious additions to the bathroom. Evacare have a range of stylish multifunction bathroom accessories, including a corner shelf, toilet roll holder and rail shower, which discreetly incorporate grab rails to provide support when needed.
8. Pick the right pavers
For outdoor areas and paths, select a paver with a high anti-slip rating, recommends Nick Bale, product manager at Tuscan Path. “Look for a rating of at least R11 and opt for a paver which is extremely durable and low maintenance,” he says. “Outdoor porcelain pavers are a great option as they don’t require sealing.”
9. Look for good grip
If you find your outdoor tiles, pool area or driveway a little slippery, there’s a range of DIY liquid treatments you can use to boost their grip, without altering the appearance. Check out coatings like Dy-Mark TreadRite, CPC Surfacer Slip Grip and DTA Anti Slip.
10. Sort out your stairs
Enhance stairs with improved visibility and traction. A simple option is to use paint or coloured tape to highlight the edge of each stair, while adding anti-slip tape can further reduce the risk of trips and falls. For a heavy-duty outdoor solution, try anti-slip stair nosing or treads in a light or bright colour that will show up in dim light.
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