CSA B652 is a Canadian standard that provides guidelines for making homes and other residential buildings more accessible to seniors and people with disabilities. Here are some of the most important standards from CSA B652 that are relevant for seniorsand People with Disabilities living at home.
- Entranceways: The standard requires entranceways to be accessible and free from hazards that could cause trips or falls. This includes ensuring that thresholds are flush with the floor surface, and that doorways are wide enough to accommodate mobility devices.
- Lighting: The standard sets out requirements for lighting in residential buildings, with a focus on ensuring that lighting is sufficient to prevent falls and is positioned to reduce glare and shadows. Lighting should be bright enough for seniors to see clearly, but not so bright as to cause discomfort or eye strain.
- Flooring: The standard requires that flooring be slip-resistant and free from tripping hazards, with a maximum height difference of 6mm (0.25 inches) between flooring surfaces. This can include the use of slip-resistant materials such as carpet, vinyl, or rubber, and the placement of non-slip mats in areas that may become wet.
- Kitchens: The standard sets out requirements for accessible kitchens, including the placement and height of counters, the location of appliances, and the availability of storage that is easily reachable. Kitchen counters should be at a height comfortable for seniors to work at, and appliances such as ovens and microwaves should be at an easy height.
- Bathrooms: The standard sets out requirements for accessible bathrooms, including the placement and height of fixtures such as toilets, sinks, and tubs, and grab bars and non-slip surfaces. Bathrooms should be designed to accommodate mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, with ample space for maneuvering.
- Communication: The standard requires that residential buildings be equipped with communication devices such as visual or auditory alarms, intercoms, and emergency call systems to ensure that seniors can call for help in case of an emergency. These systems should be easy to use and located in accessible locations throughout the building.
By following these and other standards set by CSA B652, seniors living at home or in residential care facilities can enjoy a safe and accessible living environment that promotes their independence, dignity, and well-being.
Hiring an accessibility specialist can help benchmark your home’s current state of accessibility against guidelines and standards and provide recommendations for making improvements.
Contact Accessible Places for a customized accessibility audit and recommendations for how to meet relevant accessibility guidelines and standards to improve accessibility in your home.