Let’s talk about – Space, Rails, and Lighting.
As discussed in “Home Safety – How to Ramp It Up” I outlined the options available in ramps to make at least one entrance step-free. Now let’s see how spacing, rails and lighting complete the ideal entrance.
Space not only needs to be adequate but free of obstacles. The best scenario is a square (5 feet x 5 feet) of level surface. This size is the minimum space needed to enter and exit while opening and closing the door. Plants, chimes, and other decorations are OK, but, they need to be far enough back to allow clearance for anyone needing assistance…and…those providing it.
Allow at least 36 inches for not only the pathway, but for walkways and sidewalks leading to the entrance. The more space you have, the better. The current trend towards a clean, uncluttered look dovetails perfectly with safety. Take advantage of it!
Covered entryways and porches protect people from the elements. They’re less likely to have snow or puddles eliminating slippage. Less surface water makes them easier to maintain.
If at all feasible, have one railing on each side. Wrought iron railings are attractive and provide a sturdy grip for anyone unsteady on their feet. Wood railings are also decorative but must be maintained properly to prevent splinters. Any unstable railing must be secured.
Bright lighting is crucial both inside and outside of the entryway. Shadows (even more prevalent at night) confuse the eye and make people misjudge where to step. Not only well-lit, but balanced lighting is important here. Avoid lights that create a glare which, like shadows, lessen depth perception. Beautiful, balanced lighting also enhances your entrance appearance.
And don’t forget…
The best doors are wide or double doors that have lever handles, a dead bolt, a security peephole, and easy-to-use locks. Another safely feature is large, easy-to-read house numbers located in a prominent space so they can be seen from the street. It helps the first responders read your house number clearly and that time savings can make a difference in how you’re treated and your prognosis.
It’s really not hard to make your home entrance a welcome site as well as safe. This is just one of the aspects I look at when I do “Home Safety Assessment Consultations.” Don’t hesitate to call me to make sure your home is as safe as it can be from front to back!
Not sure what to do next? Contact us for a consultation, we can help.