Houseboat Safety and Accessibility

February 2018 Multimedia Jane Willow Web Exclusive

Living on water is an idyllic lifestyle for many people across the world. It’s peaceful, tranquil and an ideal way to escape from the hustle and bustle of town or city living. With houseboats costing some owners just $6,000 to live in per year, the monetary benefits are pleasing to the owners too. When purchasing a houseboat, there are lots of things to take into consideration, including location, the air quality on the houseboat and how accessible the boat is to friends and family. The last thing you want when you get visitors is for an accident to occur.

The importance of accessibility

Owners of non-cruising houseboats have the luxury of spending time making the entrance to their home safe while still looking great. Any homeowner, understandably, wants their home to look aesthetically pleasing and eye-catching, but the main thing on your mind should be safety and accessibility before beauty. Accessibility is important in all walks of live. Construction workers and builders have to take care and ensure they follow ADA guidelines when constructing a driveway, and it’s just as important for houseboat owners to make their property accessible and safe for all members of society, including young children, the elderly and those who are disabled.

Excess water

When living on water, it’s inevitable that water will find its way onto the pathway directly outside your home. This could be simple rain water or water from the river where your houseboat is moored. To prevent any slips or falls, keep a mop handy to clean up any large puddles and it’s worth investing in a wet floor sign to remind visitors, who may not be used to a houseboat environment, to take care when approaching. Sensible footwear is also recommended to keep you sturdy on your feet when coming and going to your houseboat.

Keep it basic

If your houseboat is static, it’s tempting to liven the surroundings and pathway to the boat with lots of knick-knacks and flower arrangements to give it a real sense of life. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, however, you should ensure that ornaments aren’t a trip hazard and that plant pots are kept to one side, overhanging branches are trimmed back and dead flower heads are removed to prevent them from falling to the ground, getting wet and becoming slippery.

Cruising houseboats

For houseboats that frequently travel, every stop you take should be assessed for its safety and accessibility. Avoid mooring next to muddy banks where it will prove difficult to get on and off your houseboat without injury. Instead, opt for locations where you can freely see where and what you will be stepping onto and where it’s not too overcrowded by people and other houseboats. 

By following some simple tips, houseboat owners can be sure that the pathway to their homes is safe and accessible to all.

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