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Safety
General
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Bathroom Safety

A light switch near the bathroom door will prevent you from walking through a dark area. Install a night light, inexpensive lights that plug into outlets. Consider replacing an existing switch with a glow switch that can be seen in the dark.

Electrical appliances and power cords can cause shock or electrocution if they come in contact with water. Consider adding new outlets for convenience and safety; ask your electrician to install GFCI outlets to protect against electric shock. A GFCI is a shock-protection device that will detect electrical fault and shut off electricity before serious injury or death occurs.

Wet soapy tile or porcelain surfaces are especially slippery and may contribute to falls. Apply textured strips or appliqués on the floors of tubs and showers. Use non-skid mats in the tub and shower, and on the bathroom floor.

Grab bars can help you get into and out of your tub or shower, and can help prevent falls. Check existing bars for strength and stability, and repair if necessary. Attach grab bars through the tile to structural supports in the wall, or install bars specifically designed to attach to the sides of the bathtub.

Water temperature above 120 degrees can cause tap water scalds. Lower the setting on your hot water heater to "Low" or 120 degrees. If you are unfamiliar with the controls of your water heater, ask a qualified person to adjust it for you. If your hot water system is controlled by the landlord, ask the landlord to consider lowering the setting. If the water heater does not have a temperature setting, you can use a thermometer to check the temperature of the water at the tap. Always check water temperature by hand before entering bath or shower. Taking baths, rather than showers, reduces the risk of a scald from suddenly changing water temperatures.

(NOTE: All information courtesy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C. 20207)