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Practical Ways to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls at Home

Being proactive about identifying and addressing slip, trip, and fall hazards in and around your home can significantly reduce the risk of injuries.

By reducing clutter, moving obstructions, ensuring there is adequate lighting, and repairing uneven surfaces, you can create a safer environment for everyone in your household. It's important to promote and encourage safe habits around the home to prevent slips, trips, and falls.

Wear appropriate footwear when walking outside, particularly in wet or icy conditions. Use caution when navigating outdoor spaces at night or in inclement weather.

Put away items when they are not in use, especially if they create clutter on the floor or outside on the ground. Do not leave anything laying in common walkways, inside or outside. Small items are slip hazards, and larger belongings become trip and fall hazards.

If you need to reach up high, use the correct ladder for the job. Do not stand on top of other items like chairs, tables, patio furniture, or countertops.


Clutter and other obstructions around the home increase the likelihood that someone may trip or stumble while walking or completing routine tasks around the house or in the yard. Typical examples of clutter include:

  • Toys, shoes, and other items left on the floor
  • Electrical cords or cables running across walkways
  • Furniture or large equipment that sticks out over walking areas
  • Garden hoses, tools, or other yard equipment left out
  • Tree roots or landscaping that extends into outdoor walkways
  • Unsecured or damaged outdoor rugs or mats

Where possible, maintain a clutter-free environment indoors and eliminate outdoor trip hazards. Arrange indoor and outdoor furniture in a way that provides clear walking paths.

Use cable organizers to keep cords out of walkways. Re-route extension cords so they do not become a trip hazard.

Put garden hoses, tools, and yard equipment in a proper storage area when not in use. Tidy up landscaping that begins to extend onto outdoor walkways. Secure outdoor rugs or mats with non-slip pads or double-sided tape.

Regularly declutter and reorganize storage areas. Make space for new items in closets, garages, and sheds so it’s easy to put things away before they become clutter around the house or outside.


Regularly walked paths, steps, and stairs, both inside and outside the home, often present slip, trip, and fall hazards, like:

  • Wrinkled or bunched-up area rugs or carpets
  • Uneven, damaged, or missing steps
  • Missing or loose handrails along steps or stairways
  • Worn-out stair treads or loose carpet on stairs
  • Uneven or cracked pavement outside
  • Slippery outdoor walkways after bad weather

In addition to removing clutter and moving obstructions out of the way, it’s important to maintain walkways and steps around the home and ensure stairs do not pose additional fall hazards. Secure loose or wrinkled rugs and carpets with double-sided tape or non-slip pads.

Inspect stairs regularly for damage and repair as needed. Install handrails on both sides of staircases. Apply non-slip treads or strips to stair surfaces.

Repair or replace damaged pavement, steps, or other walking surfaces. Keep outdoor surfaces clear of debris, such as leaves or snow. Use sand, salt, or ice melt products to prevent slippery conditions during winter months.

Do not set up a ladder on an uneven surface. If you cannot use a ladder safely, do not use it.


Wet or slippery floors and uneven surfaces, indoors and outdoors, create plenty of slip, trip, and fall hazards, like:

  • Spills from water, drinks, or other liquids
  • Freshly mopped or waxed floors
  • Leaks from appliances, like washers or refrigerators
  • Damaged or loose floorboards
  • Raised or cracked tiles
  • Ice or snow buildup on outdoor walkways and stairs
  • Pooled water near entryways, bathtubs, or showers

It’s important to keep floors clean and dry and address uneven surfaces that can cause an accident if someone isn’t paying attention or loses their balance. Use non-slip mats or rugs in areas prone to wetness, such as the kitchen or bathroom. Add non-slip strips into the shower or bathtub, if needed.

Clean up spills immediately. Quickly pick up ice cubes that fall onto the floor. If you notice a leak from an appliance, make plans to get it repaired soon, and manage the leak so it doesn’t cause the floor to become slippery nearby.

Repair or replace damaged floorboards, tiles, or other flooring materials. Until it can be repaired or replaced, use caution when walking on any uneven surface.


Poor lighting can contribute to slip, trip, and fall hazards both inside and outside the home by reducing visibility and making it difficult to spot potential obstacles, slippery floors, and uneven surfaces. Be on the lookout for these issues that should be fixed:

  • Dimly lit hallways or staircases
  • Inadequate lighting in closets or storage areas
  • Burned-out lightbulbs or broken light fixtures
  • Not enough lighting on outdoor walkways, porches, or patios
  • Light switches placed in inconvenient locations
  • Ensure there is proper lighting inside the home and enhance outdoor lighting for safety.
  • Install adequate lighting in all areas of your home.

Replace burned-out lightbulbs promptly, inside and outside. Choose energy-efficient LED lightbulbs that provide brighter illumination and longer lifespan. Regularly clean light fixtures and windows to maximize natural light and ensure optimal brightness.

Install sufficient lighting in all outdoor areas, including walkways, porches, and patios. Consider using motion-activated outdoor lights for added safety and convenience.

Use nightlights in hallways and staircases for added safety during nighttime hours. If you need to walk in darkness to access a light switch, add additional lighting or install a remote-controlled lighting system.

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