Climbing the stairs is one of those things that we do day in, day out and, let’s face it, we’re all guilty of not paying full attention to what we’re doing. We are usually too busy texting, engrossed in a good book or rummaging around in our bags for car keys or train tickets. But steps can be one of (if not) the biggest culprits for slips, trips and falls.
Keeping your stairs in good shape, replacing defective staircase parts when necessary, and avoiding distractions can prevent bumps and bruises or even life-threatening injuries. Read on for more staircase safety tips…
How to be safe on the stairs
1. Hold on to the handrail
Think you’ve memorised your stairs? Whether there are just a couple of steps or a whole flight to navigate – accidents can happen when you least expect them. Our best advice is to take your eyes off your phone, concentrate on what you’re doing, and grab the handrail to guide and steady yourself as you walk up or down the stairs. A handrail can be fitted against the wall or be included in your balustrade system, and you may wish to have one on both sides for extra stability.
2. Remove hazards
Perhaps one of the simplest – yet most crucial – ways to ensure safety on the stairs is to keep them clean and clutter-free. Dirt, debris and leaves are often walked in on the bottom of shoes and can dramatically increase the risk of accidents on the stairs. The solution? Ask everyone to remove their shoes at the door, and don’t leave them, toys, bags or anything else, on the steps.
3. Ensure visibility
A clearly illuminated staircase is a sure-fire way to minimise the risk of slips, trips and falls. Ideally, you need both the top and bottom landings of your staircase to be well-lit so that users can watch their footing precisely. If you can, it’s worth installing stair or low-level lights on or near the stairs too. Aside from the safety benefits, this will enhance your space and really make your stairs the focal point.
4. Don’t use polish or wax
Whilst it’s important that you keep your stairs clean to ensure they look great for years to come, try to avoid using polish or wax. Yes, these products will give your staircase a gorgeous shine, but they will make it unsafe to walk on (especially in stocking feet!). Instead, brush or hoover each step and use a wet cloth before drying them thoroughly.
5. Swap damaged staircase parts
Is the handrail starting to wobble? Perhaps the brackets are loose, or spindles are starting to show signs of wear and tear, or rust? Though these may seem like minor issues, if left unattended, damaged or faulty staircase parts can lead to serious accidents and injuries further down the line.
Luckily, Wonkee Donkee Richard Burbidge – the UK’s leading staircase parts provider – has a comprehensive range of baserails, handrails, newels, spindles, end caps, glass panels, and more to choose from. And the best bit? They are all available to buy online, for a competitive price, so you needn’t break the bank!