How about a few hints? The No. 1 leading cause of deaths is known as a major tripping hazard. It has hard, uneven surfaces. It’s hopefully used regularly in most homes! The answer of course is the bathtub. Showers are the second leading cause of deaths.

Falls precipitated by bathtubs or showers can cause various injuries including hip fractures. The mortality rate for the first year following a hip fracture is 21 percent! Falls may mean losing the ability to live independently. Preventing falls promises to keep us in our homes much longer.

A bathtub may seem safe and comfortable, but most of us have slipped in a bathtub or shower at some point in our lives. The surfaces can get soapy and very slippery; especially in a bathtub. Getting in or out of a bathtub can be a challenge for everyone. Mom reminded me of that a few months ago.

John Henry's replaced mom and dad’s bathtub with a walk-in shower at their previous home. Mom loved it. After dad passed away, mom purchased a condo. It had a bathtub.

Mom missed her walk-in shower, but never complained. That’s mom. She finally made a subtle comment about the bathtub being more difficult to use than her previous walk-in shower. That subtle comment hit me like a ton of bricks. Sometimes we need to listen more closely for the obvious answers. It was time for John Henry's to help again.

Mom’s new walk-in shower with beautiful chrome grab bars is considerably safer than her old bathtub. It will help protect her from falling. The entrance area has a 1.5-inch rise that is easy to step over. The shower walls and seat are white onyx. The shower door is beautiful and works great. The hand-held shower faucet is much easier to use than a stationary shower head. The installation is the best I’ve seen.

Of course, mom got a “special deal” that only special mothers get. Walk-in shower installations typically cost approximately $4,500 to $5,000. That’s a cheap price to pay if it prevents a serious fall or death.

Some may say they like “soaking” in the bathtub; not me. What’s better than fresh, clean water that passes over the skin once and quickly goes down the drain? I especially like my steam shower feature during this cold Nebraska winter!

You can see a nice walk-in Onyx shower display and color samples at the John Henry’s booth at the Lancaster Event Center Home Show today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There are many other interesting things to see in the John Henry’s booth. For instance, have you seen a heat pump water heater? If not, feel free to stop by and take a look at an A.O. Smith Voltex residential electric heat pump water heater. Starting this year, Lincoln Electric System is giving $500 rebates on heat pump water heaters. The Voltex reduces electrical usage to approximately one-third the cost of a standard electric water heater.

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There will be other water heater options to see, such as the A.O. Smith Vertex power vent water heater that provides fast recovery. Also see the A.O. Smith 540 tankless water heater that is known for never running out of hot water. That’s important for those who have experienced cold showers!

John Henry's installs and services the most water heaters in our community, so why not ask their experts for advice?

There will also be a full-sized septic tank cutaway model for those that have never seen the inside baffles of a septic tank. John Henry's does a lot of excavation work including septic tank installations, plus repair of sewer and water piping. Total C drain cleaner will be available at the show!

Let’s also talk about the third major cause of deaths in homes that has 50 warning signs. That’s of course carbon monoxide. There are no safe levels of carbon monoxide. Please talk to our indoor air consultants in the John Henry’s booth if you have any concerns about carbon monoxide health risks. Better safe than sorry.

There of course will be Lennox and Trane HVAC equipment to check out. See the latest new equipment designs that will improve your comfort and save energy.

I plan to be in the Home Show booth most of the weekend. Please stop in or at least wave as you go by. Thanks to all those that use John Henry’s for all your plumbing, heating and air conditioning needs. You are appreciated!

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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