While most people think of bathroom safety in terms of two age groups-seniors and children, the reality is that creating a safe bath environment is just as important for every member of your household. Nearly 70 percent of all accidents that occur in the home will happen in the bathroom-almost 200,000 accidents every year. While the bathroom can be a dangerous place, you can make some simple changes as well as more complicated ones which will keep everyone in your home safe and sound. The majority of the safety tips can be implemented without sacrificing the beauty of your bathroom décor as well.
Simple Helping Strategies
The most obvious (and easiest to accomplish) safety precaution is to make sure that all slippery surfaces are properly skid and slip-proofed. If you have a tile floor in your bathroom, make sure your bath mats have non-slip backing. Install either a non-skid bathmat inside the tub or shower stall, or use the strips or decals which allow you to grip the slippery surface rather than falling. There are many different types and styles of non-slip strips or mats, so you should be able to find something which fits in with your décor. Grab bars are good to have, not only for seniors, but for every age. Install grab bars in the shower or tub, as well as one next to the toilet. Grab bars are the very best safety device you can install for seniors and children, but can also be a great help for someone suffering from a sports injury, or recovering from surgery. Grab bars have come a long way from the first institutional-looking ones. Creative Specialties International, a division of Moen, has a new line of ADA-compliant grab bars in a wide variety of designs and finishes. If you already have Moen fixtures in your bath, many of their new line of grab bars match their fixtures.
While we all enjoy a hot, steamy shower, you need to ensure that no one using the shower or sink will be scalded. Set your household water heater no higher than 120 degrees. In order to avoid "shower shock," which is the change in water temperature brought on by a flushing toilet in another part of the house, or by turning on a dishwasher or starting a washing machine, install a pressure-balancing shower valve. Moen makes one called Posi-Temp valve which has a pressure-balancing spool to regulate water delivery and keep your shower temperature both consistent, and more importantly, safe. With a Posi-Temp installed, your water will remain a constant temperature despite demand.
Water and electricity don't mix, so never install a light switch in or near the shower and don't keep appliances plugged in with cords long enough to reach the sink. Have an electrician install ground fault circuit interrupters in your bathroom and kitchen to avoid the possibility of electrical shock. These types of outlets cut off the electricity should any water get into an appliance. Your bathroom should be a relaxing oasis for all who enter, but safety must be your number one priority.
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