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Prevent Falls in the Home
From the National Fire Safety Council, Inc.

Falls are the #1 cause of accidental death in persons age 55 and older. The majority of accidental falls are not job related nor do they involve situations of extreme danger.  They occur in homes during everyday activities.  Look for ways to reduce potentially hazardous situations.  There are simple steps you can take to keep yourself safe.

Floors and Stairways

  • Watch out for small steps
  • Never step over sleeping pets
  • Have suitable lighting everywhere
  • Avoid areas that appear wet or slippery
  • Always use handrails on stairs
  • Keep halls and stairs clear
  • Watch out for unsecured carpet or rugs
  • Walk carefully on patterned or vinyl floors
  • Beware of electrical or phone cord in your path

Bathrooms

  • Install a grip bar by the tub, shower stall, and above the sink and toilet.
  • Apply textured vinyl safety strips to the tub, shower, or tile floors, and use non-slip mats.
  • Avoid scatter rugs!  Tack down or tape, cut-to-fit carpet or rubber backed rugs.
  • use a long handled scrubber for better balance when bending over.
  • Watch out for slick soap or water spills.
  • Use non-slip bath and shower chairs.
  • Never brace yourself on a towel bar.

Protect Yourself Indoors and Outdoors

  • Use the highest allowable wattage bulbs in all light fixtures and lamps.
  • Never walk into a dark room; all rooms should have a light switch or lamp by the door.
  • Be able to reach a light switch or lamp from bed or a favorite chair.  Have a flashlight ready.
  • Install handrails on both sides of stairs and steps.  Always use them.
  • Use light colored or reflector tape on stair treads.  Textured tape helps prevent slips.
  • Have light switches at each end of stairs.
  • Secure scatter rugs with double sided tape or tacks, especially in the kitchen and bath.
  • Run electrical cords against walls, and never under rugs or across doorways.
  • Only carry what you can safely.
  • In the bedroom, look out for scattered clothing, shoes, and blankets or un-tucked sheets.
  • Wear well fitted slippers or shoes with non-slip soles.  Knitted slippers have less traction.
  • Watch for slick sidewalks.
  • Wipe up spills right away.  Use detergent to cut greasy residue.
  • Use a sturdy step stool with handrails to reach high cabinets.  Long tongs help reach high items.
  • Keep walkways clear of toys, magazines, newspapers, or yard and garden equipment.
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