Winter is just around the corner and we all know what that means — snow and ice — both of which can make accessibility a challenge.
According to the National Safety Council, 25,000 slip and fall accidents occur daily in the U.S. Calculated for just the three months of winter, that’s over 2.2 million accidents, and 1.5 million in the 70% of the U.S. that sees snow.
The dangers that arise with winter conditions can be threatening to all, but the safety of those with mobility challenges is increased during this time more than it is for others. Help take some of the worries out of winter and check out our top six ways you can make your home or business more accessible this season.
1) Clear a Path
Snow, ice, and leftover wet leaves from fall can all quickly become hazards when getting to and from destinations. The slick surface they create makings slipping and falling much more likely on top of being a tripping hazard for everyone, not even just those with mobility challenges.
Reduce the risk of injury this winter by clearing a path outside for those coming into your home or business. Thoroughly clear all hazards from the area and take extra precaution in icy patches with additional ice melt.
2) Remove Snow & Ice
This may be covered under tip #1, but we think it’s so important we wanted to highlight it. Removing snow & ice can be a tough task, especially when it’s frigid outside, but the extra efforts are always noticed and appreciated.
For those with mobility challenges, patches of snow or ice left around can make all the difference in them easily getting in and out of your home or business. Snow buildup can make an otherwise accessible path a bumpy minefield for trips and falls or for using a walking-aid or wheelchair on.
Top places for snow and ice removal:
- Walkways including sidewalks in front of and around your business/home
- Driveways & parking lots
- Emergency exits
3) Adequate Outdoor Lighting
During the winter it gets darker earlier and adds the challenge of visibility, which wasn’t there in the summer. Combatting this can be simple by adding adequate outdoor lighting. Set your current outdoor lights to come on sooner, add lighting on the side of your walkway and/or driveway, invest in big garage light that illuminates your whole driveway, etc. Assess the current situation and address any issues so that no matter what the elements are, they are lit up and visible.
4) Add Handrails
Stairs can quickly become a hazard during the winter as snow & ice build up. It can sometimes be impossible to get every last bit. An option to help keep guests safe is by simply adding handrails.
Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, handrails can provide stability on slippery surfaces and help prevent a fall. Amramp’s PromenAid handrails are stylish, strong, and easy to install while still meeting residential, commercial, and industrial code. They’re the perfect solution to adding a rail for any kind of stair or path.
5) Add Portable and/or Temporary Ramps
Do you have chronic icy steps? We’ve found the cure! Avoid the stairs completely by utilizing a portable ramp or temporary wheelchair ramp for your home or business.
Portable ramps are durable and easy to use for temporary use in the winter with low-rise entrances. If you have a guest coming over with mobility challenges, clear the path as you normally would and put down one of Amramp’s portable ramps to ensure safety, and accessibility, for all.
If you’re looking for a longer-term solution, consider renting or buying a wheelchair ramp for your entrance for the winter. Amramp’s unique open mesh ramp surface allows moisture to pass through, reducing the possibility of ice film forming on the surface. Additionally, Amramp ramps feature a raised gripping pattern — the most slip-resistant ramp available — plus unique Amramp-grip coating to the ramp surface.
Note: In most cases, no permits are required due to our patented bolt-together system, so no tax reevaluation is necessary, as it would be with permanent ramps.
6) Keep Floors Clear of Slippery Conditions
Indoor floors and stairs and also become a hazard if snow and ice are tracked in and left to melt and dry themselves. Keep your entrances lined with mats and rugs for visitors to wipe their shoes on. Additionally, at home, you can provide a tray for visitors to put their shoes on so the elements clinging to their shoes don’t melt all over your floors creating a hazard.
If you do have a hard time keeping floors clear of water during the winter where a mat, rug or tray do not help, invest in some additional tools to combat the issue. These tools include mops, cloths, and rags for quick clean up, and even wet floor signs to warn customers of the hazard so they can avoid it themselves.
Take control over the elements this winter and open your home & business to all! Check out all of Amramp’s products for more accessibility solutions in all weather climates, indoor and out, such as stair lifts, platform lifts, threshold & transition ramps, automatic door openers, and grab bars.
Take away the worries of the winter with Amramp.
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When you're looking for accessibility products, you need a company with experience. Amramp is familiar with the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as local zoning laws.
Certified Aging in Place Speciliasts (CAPS) are trained by the National Association of Home Builders on remodeling and retrofitting existing homes for special needs.
Amramp can evaluate any home to determine what changes are needed to make the living space as accommodating as possible in the years ahead.
Check out Amramp’s full line of accessibility solutions or take advantage of Amramp’s FREE evaluation to review your needs and lay out a plan that is right for you by calling 888-715-7598 or emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.