Safety should always be an area of focus if you are considering a bathroom remodeling. The National Safety Council approximates that 200 000 people are injured every year in bathroom accidents, and most of them are avoidable.
Because of hard surfaces and sharp edges, a fall in the bathroom can cause injury and breakages. The most common accidents include slipping or burns from hot water. Homes that have children or elderly people should take safety factors more seriously to minimize the chances of accidents happening. There are some simple guidelines you can follow to adopt a safer approach to your bathroom remodeling project, and many of them are cheap to incorporate into your renovation budget and quick to install.
Water and Electricity
Water and electricity in close proximity is a dangerous combination and should be avoided at all costs. To make sure your bathroom remodeling is a safe exercise and all the necessary protocols are followed, get a professional to take care of your wiring and electricity requirements.
To minimize any chances of problems, make sure you use moisture-proof fixtures and ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) on all electricity outlets.
If you have a light directly above your shower, make sure it is cased in an insulated cover to keep the wiring dry and safe.
Never run an extension cable into a bathroom or try to use an electrical appliance in the bathroom in case there is water lying around, as electrocution can happen very quickly.
Around The Bath and Shower
Make sure you employ good lighting in the bathroom, to show up any water that might be lying on the floor by the bath tub or shower and minimize the chances of someone slipping.
Where possible, avoid having steps in the bathroom. While they might seem like a practical solution to get to a raised bath, they just increase the element of risk. Rather opt for a seated platform where people can sit down and lessen their chances of slipping while climbing in or out. If your steps are not going anywhere, make sure you lay a non-slip material down to prevent unnecessary accidents.
Also use a non-slip mat outside the bath and shower. It is also useful to use one in the shower and bath, especially if there are children or elderly people in the house. A grab bar can also add to safety reinforcement. If you are doing a bathroom renovation especially for older people, a walk-in bath tub is the safest option available.
Older people, babies and children can also benefit from sitting in a seat while they are in the tub if slipping is a major concern for safety.
Some people choose rough textured floors for their showers, as smooth finishes are easier to slip on. Having simple seating, like a wooden bench, inside the shower can also minimize the chances of someone slipping and falling and is a cost-effective safety device to include in your renovation budget.
If you have glass shower doors, make sure that they are shatterproof. Use secure shelving in the shower and bath area so that toiletries are less likely to fall down and cause you to fall over trying to retrieve them. Place a towel rail close to the bath and shower so that you do not have to stretch too far and lose your balance trying to get hold of your towel.
Remove any rugs or mats, especially those on hard or tiled floors, or make sure they are fitted with non-slip backing.
General Notes About Safety
While the bathroom is not ordinarily the safest place for children, it is even more dangerous during the bathroom remodeling process. The first steps of a bathroom renovation process is to take care of the electricity and plumbing, so make sure that all wires and pipes are kept well covered and free of water or moisture.
Painting usually follows next, so keep any paint and turpentine away from children. Also keep windows and doors open so that the space is well ventilated and can dry easily. Paint fumes are also toxic and children should be kept away from them.
Keep children away from loose fixtures, as they may cause injury or break if they are knocked over.
Children should not be in a bathroom unless they are with an adult. To minimize chances of drowning, remove plugs from the bathroom as children can drown in as little as an inch of water. Do not leave a chair or stool in a bathroom when there is no adult to supervise the child. Teach children never to run in the bathroom.
If you are demolishing and rebuilding, you should be even more careful and follow the safety protocol outlined by your local council. Debris, whether falling or on the ground, is potentially dangerous, especially for children who should be kept well away from the area. Children should also be kept out of the way of laborers and from any chemicals and toxins that are being used.
Exercise extreme caution when working with bleaches, acids and drain chemicals, as they are all highly toxic. Not only do you need to take care not to spill any of the chemical on yourself or your clothing, you also need to ensure that you do not inhale the fumes and that you follow the safety guidelines provided on the product.
It can be a safer alternative to create storage for medicines and toiletries higher up on the wall, out of reach of children. If you must store medicines underneath the vanity area, make sure the cupboards can be locked securely.
Taps and Faucets
Anti-scald faucets are worth considering if you live with kids, especially if you have levers which are easy to open and quick to warm up. Also try and choose faucets that are difficult to open if you are replacing your fittings, and always make sure they are left closed tightly.
If you have a baby or very small children you can get a lock for your toilet seat to prevent them from falling in. If you live with elderly people, handles and bars for around the toilet can allow for more independence and add a safety element as well.