Did you know that the bathroom is one of the most dangerous places in your home? Look around and you’ll find plenty of slippery, hard surfaces, plus of course the presence of water. A potential recipe for disaster. Sadly, more than 235,000 people over the age of 15 years are admitted to A&E with bathroom sustained injuries every year.
Whether you have small children in the house, elderly relatives coming to visit or are worried about bathroom safety in general. Here are x important bathroom design elements that could make all the difference.
Bath and shower
Most accidents happen when people climb in and out of a bathub. so it makes enormous sense to make your bath as safe as possible. An anti-slip rubber mat will make the bathtub floor more stable. While practical grab handles have long ceased to be an adaptive feature and are now available in a wealth of attractive designs. For additional grip, look for handrails with ribbed or textured surfaces.
Wherever space allows, it is highly recommended that you install a separate shower in addition to a bath as safe alternative option to showering. If you can install a walk-in shower without a threshold or step to reduce the risk of a slip and fall accident, so much the better. Handrails in the shower are a good idea too. For obvious reasons, shower doors should always be made of toughened safety glass, ideally 8mm thick.
Scalds and burns from boiling hot water are common in the bathroom but can easily be avoided by fitting thermostatic valves to your shower or bath taps. A thermostatic valve works by maintaining the water temperature within 1 or 2 degree of its temperature setting.
A sudden drop in flow while you’re taking a bath or shower. Perhaps someone is flushing the toilet or the dishwasher has been switched on. This can cause temperature fluctuations but the thermostatic mixer shower value will control the temperature to stay at the right level. So you are protected.
Bathroom safe electrics and lighting
Good bathroom lighting is a key design element that should provide effective results for all three types of lighting needs. Ambient, task and accent lighting. Whether you’re brushing your teeth or soaking in the bath. The right type of illumination will ensure that you can carry out all activities in a safe and pleasant environment.
As you would expect, there are strict regulations governing electrical safety in bathrooms. Every suitable bathroom light fitting must have an IP (Ingress Protection) rating– the higher the IP number, the greater is the protection from moisture. What’s more, the bathroom is divided into different zones (0-3) that take into account the position of windows and doors, walls, ceilings and partitions based on a perceived level of risk. For your protection, no lighting fixture, electrical outlet or switch should be within reach of the shower or bath.
Bathroom floors are notorious for becoming dangerously slippery. Especially around the bathtub, shower or sink where water may have been spilled. Unsurprisingly, this is a major accident hot spot and one that you need to watch with the utmost vigilance. Keep the floor bone dry and put down a bathroom rug or mat with a rubberised, slip resistant backing for added safety.
If you’re redesigning your bathroom, choose your flooring carefully. Ceramic tiles may look beautiful but are possibly not the right choice for your bathroom unless they are riven or have been given a non-slip coating. Laminate, rubber and vinyl flooring with slip-resistant properties may be a safer option. If you’re not convinced that these will look just as attractive as traditional bathroom tiles. Take a look at this beautiful range of bathroom flooring products to see that there’s no need to sacrifice style for practicality.
No sharp edges
Whether your sanitary ware is made from ceramic or porcelain, natural stone, metal or glass. These materials all have one thing in common: they’re hard and unforgiving surfaces. Especially when you have an accidental bump or fall, or drop a fragile item. Sharp edges and corners in particular can be a problem for the accident prone among us.
Or perhaps it’s the middle of the night or your mobility or eyesight isn’t great. There’s a hundred reasons why bathroom surfaces can be a problem. You can minimise the risk by avoiding sharp edges and choosing rounded corners on sinks, bathtubs and countertops.
Until Next Time… Charlotte x