Each year, thousands of people suffer an avoidable accident by tripping over something carelessly left on the floor.
When you’re young and supple, you’ll probably just dust yourself off and carry on, maybe with an admonishing: “Who left that there!”
But as we grow older, trips and falls – even fairly minor ones – can become more serious. They often cause greater injury, take longer to get over and, in some cases, can lead to other medical complications. In the worst cases, they can prove fatal.
A fall can happen anywhere in your home, so it’s important to keep floors and walkways clear of clutter or ‘trip hazards’ – anything from a discarded shoe to a loose wire or ‘rucked up’ rug. One place which is vital to keep clear and free of obstructions is the staircase in your home. A fall on level ground can be serious, but a fall on the stairs could be catastrophic.
It’s all too easy for things to get left on the stairs and go unnoticed, especially if you have pets or there are children who visit your home. Pet toys are found wherever they’re dropped and children – maybe visiting grandchildren – will also leave toys and other items wherever they lose interest in them, including on the stairs.
Things can also be accidentally dropped on the stairs, maybe an item that falls from the laundry basket or a boiled sweet falling unnoticed from a pocket. Even a discarded paper tissue could cause you to slip if you step on it. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your staircase is well-lit and that you give it a quick once-over before using the stairs. Looking where you put your feet while climbing or descending the stairs is always a good idea and you should also check that your stairs carpet if not working loose – or get someone to check it for you.
Sometimes we unintentionally lay traps for ourselves! How many of us have thought: “Oh I’ll just pop this on the stairs so I can take it up with me next time I go.” It’s so easy to do, especially as we get older and climbing the stairs becomes something of an ordeal which we avoid if possible. But that innocent object ‘popped on the stairs’ is a potential trip hazard, either for others who don’t know it’s there, or for ourselves if we forget about it.
Some people even use their stairs for extra storage, sitting pairs of shoes, books or handbags on the edge of steps until they’re needed, or using the stair edges to display collections or favourite items. You could think of it as a ‘distinctive and eccentric approach to interior design’ or, more realistically, as setting potentially lethal ‘mantraps’ for ourselves. What if that much-loved teddy bear topples over in the night so he’s lying across the stair ready to ambush you in the morning? Stairs should never be used for storage.
One way to stay safe on the stairs, especially when they start to become a struggle, is to install an Acorn Stairlift in your home. It means you can go up and down the stairs in safety and comfort, free from pain or discomfort brought on by the physical exertion of climbing the stairs. No more putting off trips upstairs because it’s an unpleasant and tiring experience.
And an Acorn Stairlift will always ‘spot’ an obstruction left on the stairs and react to safeguard you. Among many features included as standard, every Acorn Stairlift has a number of safety sensors fitted to the sides of the footrest and to the main body of the carriage itself. If these sensors come into contact with any obstruction on the stairs or the stairlift rail, they will automatically cut off power to the stairlift, bringing it to a gentle stop.
The stairlift will not continue in the direction of the obstruction, but can still be moved in the opposite direction, away from the obstruction, using the paddle switches on the carriage arms or the remote control. Once the obstruction has been removed, the stairlift’s journey up or down the stairs can be safely resumed.
These sensors are an essential safety feature, which is why they are standard on all Acorn Stairlifts. They deliver the peace of mind of knowing that if anything is inadvertently left on the stairs, from a discarded dog toy to a dropped sock, your Acorn Stairlift will react accordingly.
For more details of all the safety features built into Acorn Stairlifts, click on the ‘Request a free brochure’ button at the top right of this page or give us a call today on 0800 016 9760.