Most of us use the stairs every single day. They become an afterthought. We don’t consider them to be dangerous at all. However, with falls contributing to so many serious injuries every year, it’s clear that stairs do pose a risk. They’re the main fall risk that many people face.
How do you know if they are unsafe? Whether you’re in a hotel, a store or an apartment building — or any space owned by someone else — you need to know what signs to watch out for. Never just assume that the owner created a safe space. Some potential hazards include:
- Rugs that are left sitting, without being stapled down, at the top of the stairs.
- Stair treads that have worn down significantly or unevenly.
- Stairs that are not the same height for every tread.
- Stairs that have a loose handrail or that do not have a rail at all.
- Stairs that curve or bend.
- Stairs that have confusing tile or carpet patterns.
- Stairways that have doors opening out onto them, rather than into the rooms on the other side.
- Stair treads that have come loose over the years.
- Stairs that are made of a slick material, that have been polished extensively or that have some other surface coating that impacts your footing.
- Stairs that are too dark or do not have any lights at all.
- Stairs that are outside and exposed to the elements, leading to hazards like water, snow and ice.
If any of these issues cause you to slip and fall on the stairs, you may be able to seek compensation.