Access-A-Hut's Blog

September 16, 2009

Use this checklist

Filed under: Accessibility — by accessahut @ 8:33 pm

AARP newsletter warns that lever doors are easier to open and close; only a quarter inch in flooring height difference can make a hazardous spot. They provide this checklist:

  • Are exterior pathways, porches and doorways well lit?
  • Increase lighting along pathways and entryway.
  • Install floodlights with motion sensors.
  • Install photoelectric eyes in light fixtures so lighting will turn on automatically at dusk.  (Side note–I HATE THESE!!! Let’s just do some solar lamps that won’t kill people’s eyes)
  • Are the walkways in good condition?
  • Repair any holes, loose bricks, or uneven areas of pathways.
  • Are there handrails on both sides of the steps?
  • Install handrails on both sides of steps.
  • Are the doorknobs easy to use
  • Install lever door handles.
  • Are you able to identify who is at the front door without opening it?
  • Install peephole on the exterior door at the correct height for you. (NOTE–or get that phone id one from Smart House)
  • Does the threshold of the door contribute to trips or falls?
  • Install beveled, no step, no trip threshold.

Here’s the kitchen list

  • Is there good lighting over the sink, stove and countertop work areas?
  • Increase task lighting at sink, stove, and work areas.
  • Use highest wattage bulb allowed by the fixture.
  • Area cabinets and cupboards easy to open?
  • Install C or D-type handles on cabinets and cupboards.  (Note–nah, let’s just do levers
  • Are stove controls easily reached?
  • Consider purchasing with controls at the front of the stove if there are no young children in the house.
  • Add tactile and color-contrasted controls for those with low vision.
  • Is a fire extinguisher within easy reach of the stove?
  •  Mount an ABC rated fire extinguisher in an easy to reach place near the stove.
  • Do you have a sturdy step stool with handrails?
  • Use step stools that have non-slip steps and grip handrails
  • Are objects on shelves or in drawers easily accessible?
  •  Install adjustable shelving to increase access to upper cabinets.
  •  Install pull-out shelves under counters and corner Lazy Susans
  • Does the sink faucet have an anti-scald device?
  •  Install a pressure balanced, temperature regulated faucet.
  • Are the countertops and sink easy to use when seated?
  •  Create knee clearance by removing doors or shelves. (Note and watch this for the plumbing)

For the bathroom:

  • Are the sink, bathtub and shower faucets easy to use?
  • Install lever handles on sink, bathtub and shower faucets?
  • Are the floor surfaces slippery?
  • Use non-skid mats or non-slip strips on bathtub and shower floors.
  •  Secure floor mats or rugs with double-sided rug tape or carpet mesh.
  • Are there grab bars in the bathtub/shower and toilet areas?
  • Install grab bars in the bathtub/shower and toilet areas. (Note remember to build studs as CLOSE AS POSSIBLE for more grab bars in the future.)
  • Is a low toilet seat making it hard to stand up? (Note–we want a toiletvater with grab bars and a toilet with a sink on top)
  • Install a toilet seat extender or consider purchasing a toilet with a higher seat.
  • Are there exposed hot water pipes beneath the sink?
  • Insulate hot water pipes underneath the sink.
  • Is there a handheld or adjustable height shower head?
  •  Install a handheld or adjustable showerhead.
  • Is there a bath seat in bathtub or shower?
  • Install a bath seat or bench in bathtub or shower.
  • Is the hot water heater set at 120°?• Set the water heater to 120° to avoid scalding.
  • Is there good lighting?
  •  Install highest wattage bulb allowed for fixture.
  •  Install night light and/or replace light switch with glow switch that can be seen in the dark.
  • Are there small electrical appliances including hairdryers, curling irons, shavers, etc. plugged in when not in use? (Note–even though we do not use any of these, we need to create a storage space for them)
  • Unplug all electrical appliances when not in use and never use any electrical appliance near a filled sink or bathtub


  • Is it difficult to rise out of low furniture or beds?
    • Raise furniture using leg extenders or risers.
  • Are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor and outside bedrooms?
    • Install alarms on every floor where they can be heard from all rooms, especially bedrooms.
  • Is the telephone easily accessible from bed?
    • Install telephone jack close to favorite chair and bed to improve accessibility.
  • Are light switches easy to use?
    • Install rocker light switches and consider installing glow switches in bathrooms and hallways.
  • Can you see everything in your closet clearly?
    • Install light in the closet to see your clothes and shoes clearly?
  • Can you easily reach a bedside light from your bed?
    • Make sure your bedside light is easily reachable from the bed to prevent falling out while trying to reach it.

Den and living room:

  • Are all passageways clear and well lit?
    • Rearrange furniture and remove any clutter to allow for clear, wide passageways.
    • Use natural light to the fullest by opening curtains and shades during daylight hours.
    • Use highest wattage light bulb allowed for the fixture or lamp.
  • Are any electrical or telephone cords exposed?
    • Place all cords along a wall where they can’t be tripped over.
    • Remove cords from under furniture or carpeting to prevent fires.
  • Are rugs or carpets secured to floor? Are there any scatter rugs?
    • Use double-sided tape or carpet mesh to secure all rugs.
    • Remove all scatter rugs.
  • Are dining chairs easy to use?
  • Is it difficult to rise out of low furniture?
    • Raise furniture using leg extenders or risers.

Stairways and halls

  • Are the steps in good repair?
    • Replace or remove any worn or torn carpeting.
    • Make sure no nail heads are sticking out.
    • Refinish or replace worn treads.
  • Are there handrails on both sides of stairway?
    • Install handrails on both sides of steps for better balance.
  • Are there any objects on the stairs?
    • Remove all clutter from steps to avoid tripping and falling.
  • Are there light switches at both the top and bottom of the stairs?
  • Are the stairs well lit?
    • Install the highest wattage light bulb allowed for overhead or nearby light fixture.
    • Install night lights in nearby outlets.
  • Can you clearly see the edges of the steps?
    • Paint or put tape with contrasting color at edge of step.
    • Replace or add non-slip adhesive strips.
  • Also, have outlets, thermostats, etc., at chair level

Disclaimer: does not share this information or keep it permanently, as it is for the sole purpose of sending this one time e-mail.”

Which is why we are reprinting it here for our use.


  1. motion sensors are very useful when detecting burglars and wild animals in your property;”:

    Comment by  Plastic Pond — August 16, 2010 @ 9:54 am |Reply

  2. light switches should be made from oxygen free copper so that they last longer”-“

    Comment by Emily Williams — October 4, 2010 @ 7:44 am |Reply

  3. motion sensors are very useful when you want to detect stray animals or burglars on the move-“,

    Comment by Amy Morris — October 4, 2010 @ 7:50 am |Reply

    • I HATE them. Motion sensor lights should go OFF in about 30 seconds–otherwise you are just lighting the burglar’s way…

      Comment by accessahut — October 8, 2010 @ 12:07 pm |Reply

  4. the motion sensor that we use at home uses infrared beams and photocells:*`

    Comment by Necklace Holder  — October 18, 2010 @ 10:39 pm |Reply

  5. the light switch we have at home are made by Omron and they last for a long long time,~~

    Comment by Pine Desk  — October 19, 2010 @ 9:22 am |Reply

  6. some motion sensors are very expensive, specially those that are rated for industrial use —

    Comment by Garden Lighting · — November 8, 2010 @ 7:14 pm |Reply

  7. Motion sensors are very useful when you want to check movement in a particular area, infrared motion sensors are usually the best. –+ vitamins

    Comment by Isobel Reiser — June 17, 2012 @ 7:23 pm |Reply

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