Pair water with a lot of porcelain and tile and one bathroom slip up can send you to the hospital. No matter your age or level of mobility, bathroom injuries are unavoidable. While we can’t prevent every accident, there are many additions and adjustments you can make to improve the safety of your bathroom. Keep reading to find tips on keeping your bath safe for all ages.
Install a grab bar
Installing a grab bar in the bathroom benefits everyone who uses the room, whether it’s an elderly parent, a child or someone with a lower body injury. Most bathroom injuries occur—you can probably guess—in the bathtub or shower. Hang grab bars in these spots to help prevent falls (which account for about 81% of all nonfatal bathroom injuries, according to the CDC). Another great spot for a grab bar is near the toilet. Grab bars now come in various styles with differing lengths, finishes and textures which all add subtle flair to your bath while making it safer.
Replace door knobs with levers
Like grab bars, lever-style door handles are easier to grab a hold of and use, as they don’t require as much of a twisting motion. Switch your door knobs out for levers that are easier to grasp and turn. Using a single-lever faucet in your shower or tub makes it easier to control water temperature, which leads to my next point: preventing burns and scalds.
Adjust the water temperature
Most water heater manufacturers set default temperatures at 140°F, but Energy Saver suggests lowering it to 120°F. This temperature isn’t so hot that you’ll end up burning or scalding yourself in the shower. However, setting the temperature 20° lower has its drawbacks. Energy Saver explains:
“While there is a very slight risk of promoting legionellae bacteria when hot water tanks are maintained at 120°F, this level is still considered safe for the majority of the population. If you have a suppressed immune system or chronic respiratory disease, you may consider keeping your hot water tank at 140°F.”
Lowering the temperature on your water heater not only prevents injuries—it also helps save you money by reducing energy use. If you’re a caretaker for elderly parents or have young children, it might be smart to lower the temp. It’s ultimately your call.
Ditch the décor
Decorative rugs can make a bathroom look like a five-star hotel, but they pose a safety hazard. Someone can trip over them and severely injure themselves. My solution? Ditch the décor and buy nonslip bath mats instead. The safety factor will outweigh the fact that they might not be the most fashionable choice.
Provide ample lighting
Because of their wet nature, bathrooms need to be well-lit to avoid slips and falls. Make sure there are no obstructions in front of the window during the day to get the most out of the natural light source. You can also install a vanity light with LED bulbs for better visibility, energy efficiency and savings. For nighttime bathroom visits, consider buying a nightlight to provide a constant source of light for both visibility and added security.
Bathroom safety shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if you’re planning to renovate soon. Sometimes all it takes to make your bath a safer environment is to get rid of unnecessary items and install sturdy grab bars. As I mentioned earlier, accidents happen, but taking the initiative to help prevent them is a step in the right direction. I hope these bathroom safety tips sparked ideas to add safety to your bath along with your next décor overhaul.