Believe it or not, windows and doors can present potential hazards in your home. According to the National Centers for Disease Control, up to one-third of home accidents can be prevented with modifications and repairs. The following are recommendations for window and door universal design elements to help ensure safety in your home:
- Doorways and hallways should be a minimum of 36 inches wide.
- Place doors to allow for 18 to 24 inches clearance on the door handle side to easily open and close doors.
- Door thresholds should be no more than 1/2 inch high above the adjacent floor. If you prefer, install mini-ramps or transition wedges.
- Door locks should be sturdy yet easy to operate. Consider keyless locking systems for maximum convenience.
- Install a pocket door if you don’t have the floor space necessary for a hinged door.
- Select front doors with a view panel to make it easy to see who’s arrived at your door.
- For added privacy on sidelights and patio doors, consider options like the cordless between-the-glass blinds and shades on Pella’s Designer Series sidelight collection so that you can enjoy a view and still conveniently cover the opening at desired times.
- Make sure windows are easy to unlock, open, close and lock, and require minimal maintenance.
- For greater safety and convenience, select double-hung windows that tilt in for easy cleaning, or casement units that open with the maximum clearance to allow easy access to both the exterior and interior glass surfaces from inside the building.
Your home houses what is most important – your family! Keep them safe by following these helpful tips, and don’t forget, if you need assistance making these modifications and updates to your house, your local Handyman Matters is just a phone call away. 866-FIX-MY-HOME.