Safety is a major consideration for everyone in the bathroom. But if you have any sort of a disability the need for safety and security is even more important for you.

Key points

  • Ensure that the bathroom lighting is adequate.
  • Avoid having loose mats on the floor. These can be a trip hazard.
  • Don't use bathroom products and fixtures to grab on to. 
  • Keep everything you need within easy reach.
  • If you think you may need assistance don't lock the door; or if you prefer use a lock that can be opened from the outside.
  • An outward opening bathroom door provides better access for your carer should there be an emergency. 
  • Think about having an alarm fitted to make it easier to summon help in an emergency. ‚Äč


Water temperature indicators | These products can be used with a bath or washbasin to reduce the risk of scalding. Temperature indicators show when the temperature of the bath or wash hand basin is above a safe temperature by changing colour or giving an accurate reading. They are pre-set within a safe range. Some sound an alarm when temperature is exceeded.

Water level indicators | These are products with alarms to highlight the risk of flooding. Some devices automatically empty excess water or automatically cut the flow of water if a bath or washbasin starts to overflow. This can be particularly useful if you have a short-term memory problem or a visual impairment.

Pull cords | These can be positioned in areas where you are unlikely to wear a personal alarm button. Ensure the cord is long enough so that you can reach it if you fall over. Make sure the chord doesn’t dangle behind furniture.

Radiator covers | If you have a radiator that gets very hot to touch, you could have a cover fitted to it and this will help prevent you burning yourself if you should fall against it. 

If you are having a brand new radiator installed consider having a specially designed Low Surface Temperature Radiator or LST 


  • Do not leave getting to the toilet to the last minute. Try to anticipate when you might need to go.
  • Consider having facilities downstairs where they are more easily accessible during the day.
  • Make sure your route through to the WC is kept clear of obstructions.
  • If you use equipment to assist your walking, can it be used easily and safely in the confined space of a WC? 
  • Consider fixing hand rails or grab rails in easy to get at places..


  • Check that the height of the WC suits your needs so that you feel it is safe and easy to use.
  • Use a raised WC seat or frame.
  • Attach grab rails to adjacent walls.


  • Consider how you can maintain your independence, for example by installing equipment to help with transfers on and off the WC. Have grab rails positioned in handy places
  • Does your wheelchair have features to help with transfers, EG removable or flip-up armrests and footrests?
  • Is the height of your WC the same as the seat height of your wheelchair? If it is it will be a little easy to use.


  • Choose clothing that can be adjusted easily, for example with Velcro fastenings.
  • Think about having a bidet installed for easier cleaning .

Where lighting can be individually controlled in a cubicle, the light switch should be within reach of a user in a wheelchair. Usually a pull cord, which is long enough and easy to use, is required. Care should be taken to ensure that the installation of all electrical equipment is carried out by a qualified electrician to the required standards.

Emergency alarm 
An alarm cord should trigger an audible signal both inside and outside the cubicle. The signal needs to be audible inside the cubicle so that the disabled user knows that the alarm is sounding 

The alarm cord should be in a contrasting colour, usually red, positioned to hang between the WC and the basin.

There should be reset switch for the alarm within the cubicle. This should be within reach of the user seated on the WC as well as in a wheelchair. This will enable the user to switch off the alarm if it has been triggered in error.

Decoration of surfaces 
There should be a good level of contrast between the floor, doors, sanitaryware and walls. This will assist people with visual impairments.

Floor surface 
A mixture of soap and water can create a slippery surface in a bathroom. The installed floor surface should be as slip-resistant as possible. The Tile Association can give guidance on slip resisting floor tiles