Staircase Safety for Property Managers, Part I
If you have a unit with a staircase, exterior steps, or a stairwell in a building to deal with, there are important steps (no pun intended) to take to ensure the safety of your renters and those coming through your units. After all, who will want to live in a property if they fell down or tripped up the stairs at a showing?
Falls are actually the biggest contributor to home injury, according to a study done at Cornell University. When the study was completed in 1996, just under 1,000,000 people reported that falling on stairs was the cause of their injury that year. Here we examine some ways to add safety precautions to stairs and staircases inside of your units.
Some people think carpeting makes stairs more treacherous because of tripping, whereas others would argue that covering up a slippery wooden surface makes carpet safer. The most important consideration with carpeting is ensuring that it is installed well with no loose or ripped pieces to trip on.
Slipping vs. tripping, that is the question. With wood, the varnish can make it more easy to fall from slipping. You can carefully rub steel wool or sandpaper on the areas of the stairs near the bannisters or center that you think are the most travelled in order to de-smooth the varnish a bit.
Stairs cannot achieve maximal safety precaution without handrails or bannisters. For children, the rails should be narrow enough that there’s no way they could get through.
Staircases are often an object of wonder for toddlers and other small children. Prevent them from taking a fall by encouraging tenants to use a childproofing gate for an interior staircase, and separating the stairwells with doors.
Tune in tomorrow for tips on how to make your stairwells and outside steps safer.