What are some safety features I should include in accessibility projects?

Install automated lighting all around your home to make sure that you can see where you are going. Motion sensor lights, readily available at hardware and home improvement stores, can be easily installed with a few simple tools. Place them at entryways, in garages, laundry areas, and anywhere you might need light while you have your hands full. If you have a home security system, ask the company that installed it if they have a compatible automatic lighting system that gives you voice or motion sensor lighting all through the house.

A lighted doorbell will help visitors find the bell and help you find your front door if the overhead light burns out.

Increase your visibility of visitors outside your door. Sidelight windows next to the entry door give a clear view of who is outside. If such a window is not practical or you live in a higher crime area, add an additional peep hole 36 to 48 inches from the floor for seated or short adults and children to use. If you have difficulty seeing through a peephole, replace it with a digital Peephole Viewer; its 2.5-inch LCD screen gives you a big, bright image of who is at your door.

Focus light on door locks and house numbers so that you can see to get in, and so that emergency vehicles can find your house more easily.

Heated floor mats provide traction in winter; before it snows and your sidewalk is a slippery path, plug a Heat Trak heated floor mat into your exterior outlet. The mat maintains a 50-degree F temperature that will melt new snow and channel it off to the side for a dry, slip-free walk, for foot traffic only.

Spray a long-acting de-icer on walks before snow and freezing rain occurs. Effective to 20 degrees F below zero, Bare Ground Deicer will keep sidewalks and driveways clear of ice for up to 2 weeks. It is also available in pellets.

Add rubber stair treads to exterior steps. Not only will they provide better traction but using a contrasting color to the rest of the stairway will help someone with a visual disability differentiate between step and surroundings.

Install solar lights along the entry path to your home and they will automatically light your way after dark -- no switches to remember to turn on. A variety of styles are available that simply push into the ground and operate on the energy from the sun. For raised porches or decks, solar step lights mount on your stair risers, absorb the sun’s energy by day and automatically turn on to light your steps for 6 to 8 hours in the evening.
Home Accessibility (300 Tips for Making Life Easier)

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Home Accessibility (300 Tips for Making Life Easier)

Written by the best-selling author of Multiple Sclerosis: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier and Parkinson's Disease: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier, Home Accessibility: 300 Tips for Making Life...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.