Stairway Falls: The Dangerous Facts

According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls on stairs, ramps, and landings are responsible for over 36,000 deaths and more than 7 million emergency room visits each year. That makes stairs, ramps and landings the number one household hazard on the list of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

More than 800,000 people are hospitalized each year due to a fall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the elderly are the most vulnerable. Emergency rooms treat 3 million older adults for falls. The CDC notes that every 20 minutes, an older adult will die because of a fall. “Even [more] troubling is that most falls can be prevented,” said NFSI Founder and President Russell Kendzior.

Falls may be caused by short or narrow treads, surfaces that have become worn or slippery over time, and stair materials that don’t provide enough traction. Even poor lighting can contribute to a misstep which results in a fall. While handrails are helpful, they can rarely stop someone from falling. Even more surprising: according to the NFSI, there are hardly any building requirements for residential stairs, ramps, and landings.

Property owners are required to exercise reasonable care in maintaining their property, so that visitors are safe. If you were hurt in a slip and fall or trip and fall on someone’s property in Pennsylvania, and believe that the owner’s lack of care contributed to or caused the accident, please reach out to us. We can set a convenient time to discuss the details and determine whether we can help.