We’ve all been there, after using the restroom in our own homes. We turn to flush the toilet, only to freeze in panic as we see the water rising at what seems to be rocket speed toward the rim.

Even worse if we are in the home of a friend or relative. The water rises even faster.

What do we do? Most of us at one time or another has simply watched it, praying it will stop before breaching the top, while others of us have frantically searched for the larger absorbent towel we could find in preparation for what is about to come.

Most people don’t realize that if you simply reach down and turn off the supply of water at the cutoff valve, our worries will be over, and our heart rates can subside.

Keep this in the back of your minds for the future visits to the restroom, and you can reduce your stress level, even if you’re visiting friends or relatives.

Moving up from there, let’s go for a walk up into the attic.

If your disappearing staircase is more than 20 years old, it is probably showing signs of wear.

A good inspection could keep and accident from occurring.

Disappearing staircases have heavy springs under tremendous pressure.

Most wooden staircases have heavy gauged wire stretched underneath the step with nuts on each end to keep tension within the system.

Over time, these nuts work loose and fall off, sometimes you’ll even see one end of the wire support hanging down.

Many wooden fold-up staircases weren’t cut exactly right when they were originally installed and don’t match along the hinges when they open to their full length, making the ladder feel rickety and weak when your weight is applied to it.

Take the time to give these areas a good look over and designate a day to address these for the safety of all who “tread there.”

On an even more serious note, we have read recently of stories where children have been stuck at the bottom of a pool by the suction of a pool’s drain.

Fortunately for one celebrity’s child who recently experienced this, he was saved in time.

For many, they are not so fortunate.

Most people panic in a situation such as that, which is understandable; however while one person dives down to try to assist the person stuck in the pool, if there are others standing around watching the encounter, rather than watch, run for the switch to cut off the pump.

With the pump cut off, the suction will stop and the person can be pulled to safety.

If you own a pool with a suction drain at the bottom, look into replacing the drain’s grate with a safety grate if it doesn’t already have one.

A safety grate is shaped like a dome or with some other raised sides rather than the old flat drain grates that have caused such tragedies in the past and that continue to do so even today. It could save a life.

If you have any projects that you would like discussed in an upcoming article, email me at jdn.dm@comcast.net.

JD Norris is the owner/operator of DreamMaker Bath&Kitchen and a certified S.C. Master Builder, certified “Aging in Place” Specialist and certified Green Professional.