Stair safety involves several other factors:
* Lighting: Make sure the stairway is well lit. A light switch at both the top and the bottom of the stairs ensures that someone about to use the stairs in either direction can make sure they’re lit. Especially if there are young children in the house and movement in the house at night, a night light at both ends of the staircase can also increase stair safety.
* Clear the space: Don’t let clutter accumulate on the stairs; while it can be convenient to place items that need to travel to another floor on the stairs, this should never be done in such a way that someone might trip.
* No wax: Waxed floors look lovely, but they’re slippery—don’t ever wax the stairs. If they’re slippery in any case, try nonskid tape or stair treads.
* Install two handrails: A handrail on either side of the stairs gives two people who are passing each other on the stairs something to hold onto.
* Check the railings on landings: Railings in the area overlooking the staircase should have the same limit of 2 3/8” between spindles that you find for cribs. If the gap is wider, or if you have concerns about dropped toys or other items, you can install shatterproof clear plastic.
* Tack down carpets: Stair carpeting should be well secured to avoid slips or a tripping hazard.
* Avoid throw rugs: Whether at the top or the bottom of the stairs, avoid throw rugs that might slip.