Homeowner Bathroom Safety
One of the most dangerous rooms in the house is the bathroom. The prevalence of electricity and water in the same small area can cause some of the most injurious accidents every year. However, there are some ways you can protect your family and yourself from bodily harm in the loo. Let’s look at some ways to ensure your restroom remains safe.
Assess Your Electrical Shock Risk
Electrical shock presents one of the greatest injuries, or even death, to your family. When water enters outlets or an electrical device falls into water, the potential for harm is very high. To combat this risk, it is important that all outlets in a bathroom are protected by safety switches, earth leakage circuit breakers, or ground fault circuit interrupters.
GFCI outlets trip the circuit if there is an imbalance in the electrical currents. For example, if water in a bathroom gets near the outlet, the GFCI trips before any damage can be done, which protects you and your family from electrical shock.
Additionally, you should assess the location of the outlets in the bathroom. Some outlets may be located in dangerous areas, including near the floor or too close to the bathtub. To best protect yourself and those you love, outlets should not be located in any areas where water may spill, splash or pool.
Assess Your Slip, Trip and Fall Risks
Some of the next most dangerous areas of the bathroom are slippery surfaces. Any area that becomes slippery when wet is potentially dangerous to you, your family and your guests. For this reason, assessing the areas that may become slippery when wet is very important. Some areas most prevalent to slipping accidents include:
• Tub or shower floors — If these surfaces are slippery when wet, a non-slip bath mat can make the surface safer.
• Tile floors — Some tiles can become slippery when wet, so if you have a chance to choose your tile floor, choose tiles that are slip resistant. If your tiles are already affixed, adding rugs with non-slip backings will help make your flooring safer.
• Tub surrounds — Slippery tiles around your bath tub and on the surface of your tub ledge can also present a slip hazard upon entry. Non-slip decals can help provide grip in these areas.
In addition to assessing and fixing the slip hazards in your bathroom, it is also important to assess the trip and fall hazards. This could include uneven flooring, peeling floor tiles, protrusion hazards or any other item that may cause a trip or a fall.
Assess Your Other Risks
Other risks that may be present in the bathroom can include mold, leaky faucets or spongy floors. These problems can indicate structural problems with your bathroom, your venting system or your plumbing. All of these problems can affect your health and safety, so if you encounter any of these, contact a specialist as soon as possible.
Your bathroom may present some potential problems to you and your family’s safety. However, assessing electrical, slip, and other risks in your bathroom may help you identify those risky areas that need to be repaired, helping you keep yourself and your family safe.