Sometimes it seems like you have an endless list of home repair projects in need of outside assistance. Now, you can check bathroom safety off of your list. In fact, there are some simple, inexpensive and easy-to-install things you can do - without calling a contractor. It's as easy as 1-2-3.
Step One: Take a Look Around
More accidents happen in the bath than in any other room in the house. According to the U.S. Home Safety Council, "The combination of water, medications and electrical appliances make safety precautions in and around the bathroom essential for every family member. Safe storage of supplies, constant adult supervision around water and swift cleaning of slick surfaces should be common practice to help reduce the risk of home injuries."
But before heading to the nearest home center, there are many safety precautions you can take before even leaving your house. A few questions to ask yourself include:
* Is the water heater set at 120 degrees F or less to prevent scalding?
* Are electrical outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) that cut off the power source when shorted?
* Are bathtubs and showers equipped with non-skid surfaces?
* Do you use liquid soap instead of bar soap to prevent falls in the tub?
* Do you have a phone in and/or near the bathroom in case of emergencies?
* Is there a nightlight in the bathroom to make it easier to see at night?
Step Two: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
After reviewing your bathroom, start with the big items first - your tub and shower. The combination of water and slick surfaces can be an accident waiting to happen.
Apply textured strips or non-skid mats to reduce the chance of falls. If possible, look for rubber mats that secure to the floor with suction cups so they stay secure and in place.
Grab bars create the safest environment in your tub/shower. If you're leery of how they make look, don't worry. Decorative grab bar designs and finishes are available from Home Care by Moen to coordinate with most bath décors for a look that is stylish, not institutional. Plus, they are available with SecureMount installation system so they can be installed quickly and securely anywhere on the wall with one stud, or no studs.
Installation is an easy, three step process. Simply drill a hole in the wall, install the anchor system and mount the grab bars for a quick safety makeover.
Step Three: Ask for Advice
The best advice of all? Don't be afraid to ask for advice. There are a number of excellent resources which can provide assistance when tackling any home improvement project. These include:
* Local home improvement retailers, many offer free DIY clinics
* Websites, such as: www.safekids.org
* Home improvement resource books and magazines
And when in doubt, call a professional contractor. Many times, a simple phone call can save hours of frustration - and expense.