6 ideas for safe access to a home from the street

1. The Path

Look for a continuous level pathway to the front door with no steps on the way.

If there are different surfaces joining each other, the change in height should be less than 5mm with the edge rounded or bevelled.

2. The Path Surface

The pathway should have an even, well drained, firm and slip resistant surface. This could be bitumen, concrete or well laid non slip pavers.

Vegetation should be kept clear of the path and any low overhanging branches removed.

3. Visibility

So that we can be sure of our route as our eyesight deteriorates or the daylight fades it would be good if there was a high colour contrast with the surrounding garden.

The front door should be visible from the street.


4. Lighting

In the dark low level lighting of the path to eliminate any shadows is a good idea. This lighting could be activated by a movement sensor which could also switch on illumination of the entrance porch which should also be well lit.

5. Wheelchair Access

To allow for possible future wheelchair access, the pathway should be at least 1 meter to 1.2 meters wide.

If the pathway to the front door is not level then the slope should be no more than 1:14 (i.e. rising no more than 10cm in every 140cm) with a crossfall (side to side slope) of less than 1:40.

On longer pathways that aren’t level, there should be a 1200mm long level landing every 9 meters.

Ideally there should be a 1500mm x 1500mm level landing area in front of the front door.

6. At the Front Door

A shelf or a seat by the front door so that you can set down the shopping or parcels while you open the door is a useful idea.

Phil Markham