Falls are a serious safety issue pretty much everywhere in Illinois, from work to home. In fact, they account for tens of thousands of deaths each year. The victims are from all age groups, but the elderly have a more likely chance of serious injury or death from a fall. However, anyone can be at risk, especially if you do not prepare your home to protect against falls.

The National Safety Council recommends first being smart about what you do and assess the fall risk of any task. For example, if you are doing home improvement and climbing a ladder, make sure that the ladder is stable and secure. You should also not climb on chairs, tables or counters to reach items. Makes sure that you have stools or stepladders for reaching high areas of your home.

You also want to protect others coming into your home from fall risks. Make sure you pick up clutter and keep floors clean. This includes any cords. Do not run them across the floor. Secure them against a wall to prevent a hazard. Also, make sure your home, inside and out, has efficient lighting and that every set of stairs has proper railings.

It is also important to keep your home in good condition.  Worn carpeting or rugs may curl up or rips in places, creating a tripping hazard. Steps that are in disrepair could break and lead to a fall. Depending on the time of year, sidewalks may become slippery when covered in wet leaves, snow or ice.

Stay vigilant to keep people and yourself safe in your home from falls. This information is for education and is not legal advice.