Guide to Home Safety

You can reduce your risk of hip fracture by creating a safe environment in your house that will help prevent falls.

Protecting yourself is easy. Start with simple changes in furniture arrangement, housekeeping, and lighting. Where it’s necessary, install special safety features.

Decide today to live safely. The following list will help you begin.

Living Areas

  • Arrange furniture to create clear pathways between rooms.
  • Remove low coffee tables, magazine racks, footrests, and plants from pathways in rooms.
  • Keep electric, appliance, and telephone cords out of pathways.
  • Remove doorsills higher than 1/2 inch.
  • Secure loose area rugs with double-faced tape, tacks, or slip-resistant backing.
  • Do not stand on unsteady stools, chairs, ladders, etc.
  • Repair loose wooden floorboards immediately.

Stairs and Steps

  • Do not leave objects on stairs.
  • Provide enough light to see each stair and the top and bottom landings.
  • Do not place loose area rugs at the bottom or top of stairs.
  • Do not use patterned or dark carpeting on stairs.
  • Repair loose stairway rugs or boards immediately.
  • Put nonslip treads on each bare wood step.
  • Install handrails on both sides of the stairway. Both handrails should be 30 inches above the stairs and extend the full length of the stairs.


  • Clean up immediately any liquids, grease, or food spilled on the floor.
  • Store food, dishes, and cooking equipment within reach.
  • Use a stepstool with an attached handrail.
  • Repair loose flooring.
  • Use nonskid floor wax.


  • Place a slip-resistant rug adjacent to the bathtub for safe entry and exit.
  • Install a nightlight in the bathroom.
  • Place nonskid adhesive textured strips on the floor of the bathtub and shower.
  • Place a sturdy, plastic seat in the bathtub if you cannot lower yourself to the floor of the tub or if you are unsteady.
  • Install handrails on the bathroom walls near the toilet and along the bathtub.
  • Stabilize yourself on the toilet by using a raised seat or a special toilet seat with armrests.
  • Mount a liquid soap dispenser on the bathtub/shower wall.


  • Keep the bedroom floor free of clutter.
  • Place a lamp and flashlight near your bed.
  • Install a nightlight along your route between the bedroom and bathroom.