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Safety is No Accident!

Did you know that each year almost a quarter of a million people seek medical help for injuries that occur in the bathroom? Bathtub and shower areas account for more than two-thirds of injuries needing medical attention. It’s no wonder considering that water contributes to falls, scalding, electrical shock and drowning. In addition, slippery toiletries, electrical appliances, and hard surfaces are within a small area.

Homeowners want their bathrooms to be safe for family members of all ages. It used to be thought that safety features like grab bars, platform tubs, shower benches, and comfort height toilets were expensive products only for seniors or people with disabilities. That perception has changed with the times. The security, ease of use, and style of safety features for bathrooms has become mainstream. And safety features generally don’t cost more than other similar bathroom components.

grab bar styles blend with decor.

Today’s variety of grab bar styles blend with any bathroom decor.

grab bars

Grab bars are often integrated with bathroom components.

Bathtubs with attached showers used to be the norm. Homeowners today prefer separate bathtub and showering spaces. Large showers with built-in benches, wall-mounted and hand-held sprays are popular with all ages. A bench provides a safer place to shave a leg than wavering on one while trying to shave the other! A smooth threshold into the shower prevents tripping. Freestanding bathtubs have replaced the old style of a tub and shower combo. Some freestanding tubs have grab bars within the tub or incorporated in the faucet design. Other models have steps, platforms, or sliding panels that make getting in and out easier than step-over tubs. For added bathroom safety, tubs, showers, and faucets should have anti-scald valves.

Kohler's "Rising Wall" bathtub

Kohler’s “Rising Wall” bathtub is a versatile option.

Barrier free showers prevent falls.

Barrier free showers prevent falls.

Comfort height toilets are in demand because they’re the height of a typical dining room chair. The bowl’s rim sits a few inches higher from the floor than standard toilets. While many adults find them comfortable, they can be hazardous to young children. Keep users in mind when selecting toilet height.

Did you realize that most of the bathroom components discussed in this article are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act? Although ADA Compliance doesn’t apply to private homes, incorporating safety features into all areas of your home makes it welcoming and accessible regardless of a person’s age or ability.

The term Universal Design evolved from designing for people with disabilities and toward the idea of normalization and integration. The concept is also called lifetime design. The meaning is the same: if the design works well for every stage of human life, it works better for everyone. Furthermore, we can’t predict when a short term or long term disability will be a part of our lives. It is far better to ensure that our home is comfortable for years to come rather than be forced to move when circumstances change. That’s the value of security.

Integrating universal design features throughout your home also adds to its resale value. Baby boomers make up a third of our country’s population. As a result, there is a larger market for a house that is designed to accommodate aging home buyers, as well as those with special needs.

Although bathrooms account for most injuries suffered at home, universal design improvements inside and outside of your home prevent other potential accidents. You can ensure the comfort of your family and friends for years to come. Remember, safety doesn’t happen by accident.

Make Plans with Popham! To find out more about improving your home, please Request a Free Consultation or call us today at (812) 479-5850.

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Popham Company, Inc., General Contractor, Evansville, IN
4414 Covert Avenue | Evansville, IN

Phone: 812.479.5850 | Fax: 812.473.0848
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