Many will agree that one of the most accident prone areas of a home or building is the stairs. Statistics will show that a number of accidents occurring on stairs are caused by poor maintenance and sloppy construction. Considering these, it is thus important the stairs be planned out carefully and meticulously to avoid injuries caused by accidents such as slips, trips, and falls from happening in the future.
Take for example the new NADRA (North American Deck and Railing Association) study that examined the number of injuries caused by outdoor deck stairs and porches from 2003 to 2007. The report confirms that deck and stair injuries are on the increase. NADRA points to a 2003 study showing a total of 37,760 injuries which required a visit to the hospital. Of these injuries, 6,120 were a result of structural failure or collapse. Further, the report shows that by 2007, the incidents of serious injury had risen to 55,160. Quoting from the report- "Nearly 15% of all injuries are a result of structural failure". Wood decks are constantly exposed to the elements and they have a limited life span of 10-15 years. As you can see, important to have your deck and deck stairs inspected so that signs of wood decay and deterioration can be repaired.
In a recent article published in The Los Angeles Times, July 6th of this year, a tragic deck collapse resulting in serious injury and death, is reported. The deck was part of a three story apartment complex in a Birmingham suburb. Seven party-goers is all it took to create this tragic event. Unfortunately, this is an all to common occurrence now days. Reports are continually surfacing, confirming the growing frequency of these serious, life threatening collapses.
It is also essential that you keep the stairs clear of obstacles that could obstruct your travel up and down the stairs It is easy to set something down on the stairs but this moment or two that you save can easily result in an accidental fall and injury. It is essential that you do not place objects on the stairs or use it as a storage area. While generally those who are younger are less likely to hurt themselves on the stairs many accidents among children are as a result of playing on the stairs The stairs should not be used as a jungle gym or as a play area. They are not meant to run up or slid down and while this might sound appealing to a young child, it can quickly end in tragedy. If you have small children than a safety gate should be used at the top and bottom of the stairs.
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