“Watch Out for Danger” is the theme of week 3 of National Safety Month. Each year, far too many people die from unintentional injuries. The causes range from poisoning to choking and suffocation, to fires and motor vehicle accidents. However, according to the National Safety Council (NSC) one of the most common causes of accidental death is falling. More than 29,000 people died from falls in 2013 alone.

Avoiding Falls Inside and Outside the Home – Tips From Oakland Personal Injury Attorney

While falls are the third leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States, falls take the number one spot for cause of death for older Americans. One in three older adults (over age 65) fall each year, resulting in injuries such as traumatic brain injury, hip fractures, contusions, and even death. The good news is that many of these falls are preventable. With a little effort, you can reduce the likelihood that you or someone you love suffers a fall. Read on for helpful tips on how to avoid falling accidents from expert Bay Area Personal Injury Attorney, Edward C. Casey Jr.

Safety in Your Home

Most falls occur at home, the best way to decrease the risk of a fall is to make your home safer.

  • Clean up your home, removing all walkway hazards like throw rugs, electrical cords, and any other clutter that may cause someone to trip.
  • Make sure that your home is well-lit, including hallways. Many home improvement stores offer inexpensive motion or light sensing night lights that provide illumination when needed — without running up your electricity bill.
  • Make your bathroom safer by adding things such as non-skid mats for the tub and grab bars.
  • Consider placing non-slip strips on stairs, or installing railings on both sides of the stairs.
  • Don’t stand on chairs, and always practice safety when using ladders and step stools.

Safety Outside the Home

Outside of the home, you have less control over the conditions that may lead to a fall. In Oakland and throughout the Bay Area, our streets are winding, narrow and often steep. Add heavy pedestrian traffic and inclement weather conditions (like fog or rain), and the risks of a fall become greater. Consider the following when you’re out walking around our beautiful Bay Area.

  • Take your time walking, looking ahead to spot hazards such as uneven pavement and standing water.
  • Wear sensible shoes, and avoid long items of clothing that may cause you to trip.
  • Use a cane, walker or other mobility devices if you are unsteady on your feet.
  • Eliminate distractions like headphones and cell phones while walking.

Whether you’re inside or out, you can reduce the risk of falling by watching out for danger. If you have been injured in a fall, despite taking these precautions, an experienced Bay Area Personal Injury Lawyer can help you protect your legal rights. This includes ensuring that a claim is filed in time, as claims against the government for falls on public sidewalks must be filed within six months after the accident.