Fact sheet #9 Safety in the Home

Keeping Safe – Living with Epilepsy

The home is the most common place for seizure-related accidents, followed by street and
workplace accidents.

The following information is designed to help identify the most appropriate safety measures for

In the bedroom

  • Have a low bed
  • Don’t place the bed against the wall or near other furniture
  • Place protective cushions around the bed
  • Pad sharp-edged furniture
  • Use a mattress sensor alarm if you have sleep seizures (e.g. Emfit Movement Monitor)
  • Don’t use the top bunk
  • Keep the room tidy
  • Use smoke detectors
  • Use a night light
  • Use breathable safety pillows

These measures are suitable for people with nocturnal seizures or for children with

In the bathroom

  • Have someone near you to help
  • Hinge the door outwards
  • Shower if possible, sit on a seat
  • Shower screens should be made of safety glass, or use a curtain.
  • Preferably no shower tray
  • Don’t lock the door, hang up an “Occupied” sign
  • Reduce the water temperature
  • Only have a shallow bath
  • Use non-slip mats

In the lounge

  • Avoid hard floor surfaces
  • Pad hard-edged surfaces
  • Avoid having trailing flexes
  • Use toughened glass on doors and windows
  • Use non-slip rugs
  • Consider using a heat pump, place a guard around open fires and gas heaters

In the kitchen

  • Microwaves are safer than stoves/ovens
  • Turn pot handles away from stove edge
  • Carry plates to the stove, not hot pots to the table
  • Use a toaster, not a grill
  • Install smoke detectors
  • Visit “Life Unlimited” for safety aids
  • Be safe whilst cooking and using utensils
  • Safe-guard your kitchen
  • Avoid hard floor surfaces
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy

In the dining room

  • Always sit upright whilst eating.
  • Use chairs with arm rests
  • Use non-skid surfaces under plates and bowls

In the basement/office

  • Fit a stair gate, use a hand rail
  • Avoid using hard floor surfaces
  • Limit time on the computer
  • Avoid trailing electrical cords
  • Have adequate lighting

But accidents do happen

  • Do the best you can to avoid injuries in and around the home
  • Use an alarm if worried about personal safety

For further information, please take a look at:  
Factsheet 4: What to do if someone is having a convulsive seizure
Factsheet 14: Safe cooking strategies for people with epilepsy

People can die from epilepsy, but uncommonly. The occurrence is typically referred to as SUDEP (Sudden unexpected death by epilepsy).

Disclaimer: this fact sheet is for education purposes only. Please consult your doctor or other health professional for advice regarding your epilepsy.
Last modified: March 1st, 2019 by EWCT | Posted in: Fact Sheets