Accident-proof your bathroom

Home security & safety should not be neglected in any room in your home, so let’s have a look at often-neglected safety items for the bathroom.

In South Africa, we don’t usually have the luxury of underfloor heating, and many overseas visitors lament that it’s silly of us not to have drainage in our bathroom floors. Drainage offers you the chance to not only dry your floors more quickly if there’s a spill from the bath or shower, but also minimises mould & damp in your bathroom.

But we have to make do with what we have! Here are some tips for keeping your bathroom as safe as possible.

hairdryerNo Electricals:

It would be great if we could dry our hair in same cosy space we just warmed up with our hot shower or bath. But as we just mentioned, there’s is often poor ventilation, much damp & lots of water spillage in your bathroom. There wall sockets which come with safety covers, but it is our advice that we not tempt fate & remove the use of electrical appliances altogether. Unless you have an enormous bathroom with the electronics stored far away from any place they can get water on them, just don’t use any electronics in the bathroom. And if you’re storing your electric items in your bathroom, keep them safely inside a dry, enclosed space.

Prevent slipping

Tiles can be particularly slippery, especially when you’re getting out of the bath. We recommend getting a nice bath mat with a rubber, non-slip surface underneath to prevent the mat from sliding on the tiles. Don’t forget to stand on a mat when you’re at the basin & getting out the shower, too. Also, it’s quite cheap to get a non-slip mat for inside your bath. Try any major store like Pick n Pay, Checkers Hyper or Game.

scale1Scales are not only scary because of the numbers they reveal

I’ve seen a very beautiful type of bathroom scale making its way to people’s bathrooms lately. A pretty square of glass, supported by chrome feet. Yeah, this thing is deadly when you get some water on it. If you have kids around, don’t leave the scale exposed. The glass is both slippery & dangerous if fallen onto. Always, always ensure your feet are dry before you get on a scale. And put it away when you’re not using it. This will also make you less likely to obsessively hop on the scale every day! Win-win.

pillsMedicines

Keep your medicines out of reach of children & locked up at all times. Also, many of your medication may need to be stored at temperatures that do not exceed a certain value. Bathrooms can get pretty warm, so check the labels & possibly move your medications to another, more moderately-heated location.

Hot Water

tap lightIt’s nice to have a water heater that takes the temperatures up to the next level, but it can be quite dangerous, too. Scalding can occur easily, and it’s especially important for people with children to moderate the heat levels on their geyser. We recommend getting simple LED tap lights that let you know whether your tap is running hot or cold. It’ll tell your kids immediately if the water is hot or cold (red or blue).

Candles

Enjoy taking a bath with lit candles surrounding you? Perhaps a glass of wine, too? Great! But you’ll probably forget to put those candles candlesout when you’re done & ready to drift off in your after-bath haze. Put a laminated note up at the door reminding you to extinguish the candles, or get LED candles (not nearly as romantic, but pretty safe) and use incense to add atmosphere.

Railings

Those lovely decorative towel railings may seem like great handles to grab if you’re slipping, but generally they’re not particularly well installed. They usually get fit with short DIY screw kits & are made from flimsy tubing that won’t hold a baby’s weight, let alone a clumsy adult’s. So get sturdy towel railings & install it with heavy-duty fittings, and also add a few strong supports around your bath to hold on to when you get out. They’re good for kids to use, too.

Ventilation

bath4It’s absolutely essential that you ventilate your bathroom somehow. If there is no window, you should have an extractor fan. If there is a window, open it up once in a while. This will limit mould growth & also help cleanse the air of any toxins that may exist. Remember, you’re using cleaning detergents, air fresheners, candles, washing powders, hairsprays & more in your bathroom. So ventilate!

Emergencies

Despite taking all these precautions, emergencies may still occur. So we recommend that you ensurephone you have a way of communicating with others in this event. Take your telephone with you (keep it in a ziplock bag if you’re worried about damp or water damage) & put it somewhere within reach (doesn’t have to be right next to the bath, just nearby). One often feels very vulnerable when you’re using the bathroom, and it’s the worst place for an emergency to strike. But accidents, as you know, aren’t planned, and so it’s a good idea to keep a communication device near you.

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