Home Safety Checklist
Falls are often due to hazards that are easy to overlook but also easy to fix. Making changes in your home to prevent falls is beneficial both for you and your family members, as well as for guests and visitors to your home.
The majority of falls resulting in serious injury occur within the home, most within the living room or bedroom.
Work through the list of common areas to identify and remove hazards:
Stairs and Steps
• Do I have light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs?
• Are my stairs well lit?
• Are my stairs in good repair, free of clutter and have a non-skid surface?
• Is the edge of all steps marked with contrasting coloured non-skid tape or paint?
• Are the runner mats, carpeting or other floor covering on my stairs well fastened?
• Are there solid handrails or banisters on both sides of the stairway?
• Do I remove my reading glasses when I go up and down the stairs?
• Do I take my time going up or down stairs?
• Have I arranged frequently used and/or heavy items in an easy-to-reach location?
• Do I use a stable step stool with a safety rail for reaching high places and/or ask for help?
• Do I always wipe up spills immediately?
• Do I avoid using floor wax, or use a non-skid variety?
• Do I ask for help with tasks I feel I cannot do safely?
• Do I remove throw rugs or scatter mats (altogether and/or in high traffic areas such as at the top or bottom of stairs), or use a non-skid backing with flat edges?
• Does my pet have a bell on its collar so I can hear it if it’s close by or underfoot?
• Are all walking areas clear of clutter, telephone or electrical cords and other obstacles?
• Are all rooms, stairs and balconies well lit with non-glare lighting?
• Do the surfaces of my stairs, balconies, porches and patios have non-slip surfaces?
• Have I removed raised door sills where possible?
• Do I wear a personal alarm device?
• Do I have a light switch near the bedroom entrance, or a motion-sensitive or “clapper” device that automatically turns on the light?
• Is the path from my bed to the bathroom clear?
• Do I have a cordless phone and a lamp near the bed?
• Do I have a night light in the halls and bathroom in case I get up in the middle of the night?
• Do I take a few moments to sit at the bedside before standing up after a rest or before getting up in the morning?
• Do I use a rubber bath or shower mat, or does my tub or shower have a non-slip surface?
• Are grab bars installed by the toilet, bathtub and shower?
• Do I use a bath seat white taking a shower or bath?
• Do I keep an absorbent towel handy to wipe up moisture or spills immediately?
• Have I talked with a health care professional (i.e. occupational or physical therapist) about the correct type and placement of assistive devices?
- Home Safety Checklist Challenge from Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
- The Safe Living Guide—A Guide to Home Safety for Seniors (Archived PDF) from the Public Health Agency of Canada
- B.C. Housing Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI) program
Provides financial assistance to help eligible low-income seniors and people with disabilities in B.C. to continue to live in the comfort of their home.