How To Prevent Stairway Accidents

By Greg Vanden Berge

For many years, people have been walking up and down stairways without any problems. Thanks to building codes and conscientious stair building professionals, these people have created stairs that are safe and easy to walk up and down. Years of accidents and even some deaths in the past have given building code writers the ability to find out what works and what doesn't. The stuff that doesn't work falls by the wayside as new building codes take their place, creating safer building environments.

The biggest reason for any types of accidents involving stairs is the fact that most of these people aren't paying attention. How many times have you walked up or down a set of stairs, while thinking of something else? If you don't live in a multi-level home or work in a multi-level office building and rarely use any type of stairway, you might not be inclined to worry about this, but for most of us it's almost a daily event.

I have been building stairs for quite some time and would like to share two experiences I had, when I fell down a set of stairs. It was a winder set of stairs that I built in my home, because I thought it looked neat. I had the room to build a different set of stairs that went up to a landing, made a 90° turn and then continued up to the upstairs hallway, but I didn't. I was about to learn a lesson that I would never forget.

I was in a hurry both times and thinking about something else, when I misplaced my foot and tumbled down the stairway. I could have been severely injured, but wasn't, someone had to have been watching out for me. I could only imagine what type of injuries and a frail person would have suffered from the same event. These two falls plus two other members of the family falling, forced me to remove the winder set of stairs and install a single landing. No one has fallen since and hopefully never will ever again.

How can you reduce stairway accidents? There's a good chance that we won't be able to stop all stairway accidents in the future, but there are things we can do to reduce the amount of stairway accidents that will. Start by following your local building codes and designing stairs that are safe to use. Then, share my stories with others. Tell other people to be mindful and pay attention while walking up and down stairs.

Remember, if you really want to reduce the amount of accidents you could possibly have, with anything that you do, make sure that you're paying attention to what ever it is that you're doing. Send this article to a friend, to show them that you care.

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