Is Your Bathroom Safe?

For those of us who have children, childproofing your home is one of the first things parents do before your infant becomes mobile.  Socket covers in your electrical outlets, safety locks on cabinet doors, rubber corners/edges for our tables are some of the most common safety precautions taken.  And what about the bathrooms?  We may overlook this area thinking that your infant will not go in there without you.  The truth is, many injuries/accidents can occur in the bathroom for people of all ages.  Here are some tips in addition to covering those sockets and installing safety locks on your bathroom cabinet doors:

1) Make sure that you have GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) outlets installed near the sink to prevent shock.  Most electrical building codes require that all outlets near sinks be GFCI.  Store all electrical items (hair dryer, shaver, etc) away from water and unplug when not in use.  If you have control over your water heater, set the temperature to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place childproof latches on toilets and trash cans to protect young children.  All cleaning supplies and medications should be stored out of the reach of children.

2) For your older children, consider installing a safety grab bar for them to hold on to when they take a bath.  If your wall is 5/8" or 1/2" wallboard, tile over plaster, or cement board, you can anchor the bar with blind fasteners.  Otherwise, use studs to anchor the bar.

To install the grab bar, follow these steps:

– Mount the bar diagonally, 36" above the tub.  Standard tubs are usually on 16" centers.  To find the interior studs, start at the corner and measure in 16".

– Start with a 1/8" masonry bit, enlarge the hole with a 1/4" bit, then use a 5/32" wood bit to drill into the stud.  This will help to prevent cracking the tile.  Be sure to caulk the flange before screwing the bar to the studs with 2" wood screws.

For more information on home improvement, safety in your home, or any other real estate questions, please contact us at 888-988-6248 or visit us on the web at

About the Author

Brandon Lau grew up in Kailua and currently resides in Honolulu with his wife Andee and children Caylah, Elijah, and David. His eighteen years in real estate led him to become a Partner at ChaneyBrooks Choice Advisors. Over the past 10 years he has developed the team and systems that has created a high level of service and value for his clients.

What differentiates Brandon and his team is his consultative approach to real estate. He advises clients with relevant data and expert insight to help them make the best choices in real estate. Good choices in planning for long term dispositions, negotiating for the best price or knowing when not to pursue an investment are ways his consultative services will give you an advantage in the marketplace. His bottom line is providing service with the utmost integrity and expertise.