As we approach the autumn, you may be looking forward to all the festivities of the season; Halloween, Bonfire night, and everything else that comes with the clocks going back. However, one thing that may not be on the top of your priority list is the safety of your stairs.
With the darker nights drawing in and the colder weather on the way, the chances of accidents, especially on the stairs, will increase dramatically due to the increased traffic in the home at this time of year. With this is mind, it’s important to make sure your stairs are secure and up to scratch for the coming winter. With over 1,000 deaths a year occurring amongst older people as a result of falls on stairs in the home*, it’s important to ask yourself whether your stairs are as safe as they can be.
According to statistics, every year, 3.4 million over 65s suffer a fall that causes serious injury** and the risk is only increased by stairs which are unsafe and not properly equipped or secure for the winter months. Even something as simple as not having a handrail can significantly increase the chance of an elderly relative falling.
However, it’s not just elderly people who need to be more careful in the home as the clocks go back. Information from BWF Stair Scheme shows that over half of all 18-24 year olds have lost their footing on stairs, and with the winter months bringing more festivities and visitors to the home, it’s a reminder that it’s very important for the whole family to take a look at how they can reduce the hazard of darkened stairs.
However, there are certain measures you can take to ensure your visitors are safe in the coming season. Easy ways to reduce the risk of falling on the stairs include: staying alert and avoiding distraction, treading carefully ensuring you have sufficient foothold, walking at a sensible speed, removing trip hazards, holding on tightly to handrails and opening stairgates in a safe manner.
However, it’s important to note that horizontal, panelled stair balustrade, or ‘ranch style’ stairs can be particularly dangerous, with the style being outlawed in the 1985 Building Regulations, yet they still remain in many homes, so take the time to check the style of your stairs.
When considering your stair safety, it might also be worth thinking about adding a handrail at a suitable level for the elderly and perhaps one at a lower level for young children, to make your stairs even more secure. This also encourages two to three points of contact with the stairs at all times, ensuring good balance. The Immix handrail, from Richard Burbidge features gun metal fittings providing a modern twist to any hallway, whilst also providing the additional safety that will keep your family safe on the stairs.
To ensure your loved ones stay safe and sound in the home before the clocks go back, take the time to make sure your stairs are up to scratch today.
For more information about Richard Burbidge’s range of stairparts and handrails, please visit: www.richardburbidge.com
*Living Made Easy