Did you know the smallest room in your house can be the most dangerous room in your house?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 235,000 people visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized.
More than 13 percent occur while using the toilet.
Our risk of being injured or killed increases if there are two or more toilets and they are stacked above each other on two or more floors.
Water leaking from the toilet on the top floor eventually can work its way down through the ceiling of the room below.
Two weeks ago, a friend in Kentucky reported that his upstairs toilet sprung a leak. The leaky toilet water damaged the sheetrock on the ceiling of the bathroom below. Without warning the damaged sheetrock crashed down on my friend’s head which startled him as the jagged pieces of sheetrock knocked off his ball cap. Because he was wearing his ball cap backward, no toilet water ran down his neck. His hairdo was damaged, and he broke his nose when he crashed violently into the side of his bathtub.
While infrequently talked about, there are a couple of smart things we can do when using a bathroom in a stacked toilet environment. This is true at home or in a public restroom. My photos below will bring my safety ideas into clear focus.Safety compliant toilet. Note: This Steilacoom photo is an actual scene and was not staged.
That’s right. As the photo demonstrates, ensuring toilet safety is simple, requiring only that an umbrella is stored next to the toilet. There ought to be a law mandating that public restrooms and rental properties have an umbrella within a toilet occupant’s lunge and grasp. Make it mandatory like a smoke detectors.
The City of Lakewood, who has demonstrated a commitment to citizen safety by enacting the Rental Housing Safety Program, might wish to add the toilet umbrella requirement to their rental safety inspection checklist. If a landlord fails to provide the safety umbrella, their rental property could be red-tagged and closed for further rental occupancy and income production. No umbrella would make the rental home uninhabitable.
Adding to public safety, there ought to be a law that requires toilet users to wear hardhats. There is already a precedent for this proposed helmet law. You know, like our bicycle helmet law. Additionally adding a light to the hardhat will add safety should the toilet occupant be caught on the toilet during a power outage.
Go ahead and laugh, but I wish to remind you, Safety First.
Of course I realize if every toilet in Lakewood has, in addition to the mandatory toilet paper, a mandatory umbrella, it is difficult to impossible to force everyone to open an umbrella while sitting on the toilet even if is in their best interest to do so in the name of safety.
To paraphrase an old well used saying, “You can lead a horse to toilet water, but you can’t make him drink”.
Watch for a follow-up article when we explore the dangers of using a cell phone while sitting on the toilet.
If you have read my article this far, are you finding it easy to admit that you have just seen a local example of non-political “FAKE NEWS”?