Safe Doorway

Safe Doorway Checklist for Fall Prevention

Falls can happen anywhere, but there’s much you can do to prevent falls around your house.  Starting at your front door, think of a safe doorway and the hazards and safety helps you have in place in your home right now.

Take a walk or visually inspect the areas you encounter when going from the outdoors to enter your home.

If you note a problem in any of these areas, mark the Yes/No area.

(Printable version of this checklist.)

Safe Doorway Checklist


Are the sidewalks smooth or are there trip hazards there, uneven bricks or cracks and dips in the pavement?   If the path is exposed to the weather, then snow, ice or rain can complicate the conditions, and
make them hazardous in certain seasons.

  • Yes    No

Is there adequate lighting around your safe doorway entrance?  Does the lighting light up the stairs and the landing or porch as well?

  • Yes    No

How many steps must be climbed to reach an entry door? What is the condition of these steps? Stair treads should be deep enough for your whole foot and measure 11 inches or more.  A stair rise should be no higher than 7 inches from one step to the next; a smaller rise is even better.  Uneven, leaning or weak steps are hazards which make a fall more likely.

  • Yes    No

Every safe doorway  should have hand railings should be placed along both of  the sides of stairs to support you and protect you from a fall.  Weak, unsteady, loose railings are not reliable.

  • Yes    No
Porch or Landing:

When you have climbed the stairs,  there should be a landing, a place where you can safely stand.  A landing area less than five feet square is probably not large enough for a swinging door and a resident. Small landings can cause awkward turns to make room for an outward swinging door. You want to have enough room to the side of your door to avoid the door swinging and hitting you. If you are using a wheelchair or walker, a landing area should be large enough to turn around for the wheelchair or walker too.

Railings or walls around the landing can protect a resident from falling off.  Check the direction of the swinging door and measure the area where one can stand on the landing.

  • Yes    No

Is your door stuck closed or is it hanging open? Either way, it’s a fall hazard.

  • Yes    No

Do your dogs jump on you when you are trying to enter your home? Do potted plants, piles of newspapers, packages, or porch furniture interfere with getting in the door?  What blocks your way?

  • Yes    No


Count up your marks and note the problem areas where there are fall hazards.  Then, read the blog “Safe Doorway Solutions” to help you find solutions for eliminating the hazards you found.

You can prevent falls around your house!


2 thoughts on “Safe Doorway Checklist

  1. I can’t think of a worst place for a trip hazard. At the top of the stairs.
    As far as I know Faith, there is no quick and easy fix, especially when it involves stairs. You’ll probably need a “Handyman” person to help find a workable solution.
    You should also talk the apartment manager. Could be they’ve dealt with this same issue in other apartments and have a fix.

    I know that’s not much help, I apologize for that. But what ever you do please be careful.


  2. There is a one inch high lip at the top of my stairs in my new apartment. I need ideas about how to fix this and make it less of a tripping hazard.

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