Interiors

Make your bathroom safer

 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Did you know that approximately 70 percent of all home accidents occur in the bathroom? According to the National Safety Council, that’s 200,000 accidents each year. Sounds like we should avoid the bathroom at all costs, but alas that is impossible, so instead, let’s see how we can make that room safer.

A textured floor is a good place to start. With all the wetness in the bathroom from the sink to the bathtub/shower, we get lots of splashes on the floor that can cause slipping. Slick surfaces are attractive but are also the most hazardous. If you must have a shiny floor tile, use small tiles so you have lots of grout for texture and better traction. Better yet, avoid the shiny stuff and go for slip-resistant flooring.

Grab bars aren’t only for the elderly or infirm. They are great to have in any shower. They don’t have to be plain and utilitarian looking as decorative ones are available too. Decor Assist and Grab Bars from Delta exceed the load requirements and offer aesthetic finishes.

Any small children in the house? Locks for the cabinets are a good idea and can be purchased at any local hardware store. Any cabinet or drawer that contains medicines, toxic liquids or just about any cleaning supply should be locked if there are small children in the house — either all the time or just visiting. Even with locked cabinets and drawers, children shouldn’t be left unattended in the bath or shower.

Did you know that most water heaters are preset to 140 degrees? This can burn you, particularly if your skin is sensitive. It is said that you should keep your hot foods to a temperature of 140 degrees until served so as to prevent food-borne illnesses from forming. If that temperature can kill disease, it seems it can certainly damage skin. Another way to keep the hot water from burning is to install a digital temperature read-out shower system. Delta is one company that provides these. The system provides a digital numerical readout of the temperature of the water, and it claims to be able to be installed in minutes.

Do you have a pool and little children? Install a cage around the pool so the little ones don’t accidentally go in unsupervised. Don’t want to install a cage? Get a house alarm system that beeps whenever any door is opened. This way the adult hears that a door has been opened and can go see who exited or entered the house. In the case of a pool, the exit warning bell is crucial.

Hope we all have a safe and fun summer.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of “Mystery of Color.” For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at DsgnQuest@aol.com .

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