Make Your Home Safe
To create a safe home, there are simple, low-cost changes that can be made to increase comfort, safety and accessibility for adults, children, seniors and those with disabilities. Most products referred to here are available at big-box or local hardware stores.
1. Mount smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors on each level of your home, especially outside bedrooms. These are critical in cooler months. Some sensors link to security systems.
2. Remove throw rugs. They are trip hazards. If you must have one, place double-sided carpet tape or self-stick carpet mesh underneath to secure it.
3. Use LED bulbs in fixtures to get clear, bright light in hallway, bathroom and kitchen fixtures. An option is to swap out old recessed housings with an LED retrofit. The bulbs are more expensive, but your light output will be better.
4. Replace traditional light switches with rocker switches. Touch switches are nice and usually offer dimming capability too. Get automated lighting with occupancy/vacancy sensors.
5. Put lever handles on interior and exterior doors and pulls on drawers and cabinets to make them easier to open. There are levers available that convert round doorknobs too.
6. Install offset hinges and get 2 inches more width through doorways for easy access.
7. Place nightlights in hallways, bathrooms and on stairways. There are new models that automatically go on when it’s dark, and some can be removed and used as a flashlight.
8. Put nonslip strips or decals in the bathtub and on the shower floor.
9. Install a hand-held, adjustable showerhead for cleaning and bathing. There are beautiful fold-down teak benches that add a spa-like feel for seated bathing.
10. Place an ABC-rated fire extinguisher within easy reach of your stove/range, fireplace and in your garage and laundry rooms.
11. Be sure your shower, tub and kitchen faucets have lever-handles with scald protection.
12. Install handrails on both sides of the staircase and use nonslip, reflective or contrasting tape on the edge of the stair tread.
13. Put a peephole on all exterior doors and motion-sensor floodlights around the perimeter for home security.
14. Light your way at night by installing photosensitive porch or entryway lighting that comes on at dusk and goes off at dawn. Add plug-in timers to table lamps to turn lights on and off at pre-set times.
15. Install balance bars in bathrooms, hallways and at step-down locations.
Lynn Morris, IIDA, Allied ASID, NKBA, USGBC
Touch of Tradition – Home
7313 Carroll Road, Suite D
San Diego | CA | 92121