Falls are one of the main reasons that people get injured in the United States every year, and many of them occur on the stairs. These falls can even prove to be deadly in severe situations, and those who survive could still have spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), bone fractures and many other issues.
If you rent an apartment, one thing that you may want to consider is just how safe the staircases are where you live. Your landlord has to provide you with a safe space and they are obligated to take certain steps to perform necessary maintenance and repairs. If you have to use the stairs outside to gain access to your apartment or a staircase within the apartment itself, these both represent potential risks.
What should you look for?
You should always trust your gut and contact your landlord if something feels unsafe. But below are a few examples of potential signs you may see:
- Banisters that are loose or missing entirely
- Worn down stair treads, especially on the front edge
- Cracked or loose treads that could break
- Worn-out carpeting and other such trip hazards
- Stairs that are not all perfectly the same height, which can cause people to trip due to muscle memory
- Staircases built at too steep of an angle
If you see some of these issues, it can be important to talk to your landlord about making repairs or modifications. But you can’t always count on them to do so promptly. If they are negligent and do not give you a safe space to live, and you suffer from serious injuries in a fall as a result, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation.