Each year, American homes are the scene of about 3.4 million reported disabling injuries from accidents, resulting in $ 8.9 billion in lost work time, medical bills, insurance administrative costs and fire loss. Many injuries that require emergency room treatment involve structural component of houses: glass doors and windows inflate about 200,000 injuries; tubs and showers, 77,000; stairs, 750,000.
Most home accidents result from a mix human error and hazardous surroundings. While humans will always make mistakes, there are things you can do to make areas in your home safer. For example:
Plumbing and fixtures
Water heated to 115 degree centigrade can injure human skin; yet most water heaters are set at 140 degree centigrade to 160 degree centigrade. Lowering the heater thermostat to 115 degree centigrade reduces hazard, but it also produces water insufficiently hot for some dish washers and washing machines. The remedy is a thermostatic valve or blender, which may cost $ 100 or more and can be stuffed onto the water heater, for a plumber fee. As hot water leave the heater, the valve mixes cold water into it so it will not scald. Lines bypassing the valve supply appliances that need really hot water.
Even a slippery bathtub can be rendered safer. Paste no-skid stickers on the bottom- a set of ten costs about $ 10 rubbers mat. When buying a new tub, consider one made of fiberglass. Its resilience provides more secure feet and softens a fall. Tubs with embossed bottoms have come on the market as a safety innovation; but, according to some safety specialists, soap scum may accumulate in the indentations. Therefore, these, as well as tub stickers, should be kept clean of soap scum.
Other tips for safer bathroom:
Install grab bars inside the confines of tubs and showers.
Cover glazed-tile floors, preferably with wall-to-wall carpeting.
Going up or down steps is one of the most dangerous things a person does in a house. The most effective countermeasure: install handrails. Almost anyone can make one-it takes few dollars worth of brackets and a length of railing.
Some stairways are risky because their treads are narrow, their risers steps. Either condition calls for a new staircase. Check market to know the price.
Basement stairs often combine two dangers: no landing platform at the top, and a door that opens out over the stairway. The climber must step down backward to open it, and a person coming the other way may not be prepared for the sudden change in floor level. The stairs bought to be rebuilt to provide a landing wide enough to accommodate the full swing of the door. At a minimum, the door should be rehung to open away from the climber, or to fold or slide.
Other precaution for stairs:
Some basement stairways have handrails with a single center support pole midway down the open side; anyone can fall through to the hard floor below. The stairs can be enclosed with decorative wrought iron, additional supports, peg board or paneling.
Poor lighting and shadows contribute to many accidents on stairs. Install switches at both top and bottom, and reduce the glare by using frosted bulbs.
Slippery wooden treads are another cause of stairway accidents. They should be covered. Carpeting for the average stairway will cost you few dollars with installation; a runner allows some wood to show. For basement or attic stairs, consider a coat of paint or varnish to add friction.
Please, make your home a safe place. Prevention is better than cure.