8 Simple Home Improvements That Put Safety First
Home improvements serve many purposes. They can make your home more aesthetically pleasing, updated, or appealing.
However, home improvements can also be made to increase the safety in and around your home. Safety should always be a priority, so add some safety features to your home improvement list.
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1) Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Sometimes there many be incidents in your home that lead to fires or carbon monoxide exposure.
These incidents aren’t always easy to detect through sight or smell. This is where smoke and carbon monoxide detectors come into play.
These life saving detectors can give you warning before it’s too late and they can also monitor any exposure in your home. In the case of carbon monoxide detectors, you can have a clear warning before anyone has been overly exposed.
Detectors can also be an indication of appliances in your home that aren’t working properly. In general, having any kind of detectors in your home can give you peace of mind as you won’t have to worry about any of these silent dangers.
2) Child Proofing
When considering safety related home improvements, many will think of child proofing.
Using child proofing in your home is essential if you have young children. While there is a lot involved, the main priority is keeping your kids out of anything that may cause them harm.
Install cabinet and drawer locks. Keep medicine locked away. Place guards on windows. You should also keep things out of reach of children.
This could include candles, picture frames, and other items that could be broken or potentially dangerous. You should also cut or tie off blind drawstrings.
If you have stairs, install a safety gate to prevent children from falling. To be thorough, you can follow a child proofing checklist to make sure you’ve covered everything.
3) Cover Slippery Surfaces
To prevent falls, cover any slippery surfaces in your home. This can be surfaces that are often wet or just more prone to slipping.
The bathroom is the main area you’ll want to address since water usually gets on the floor from people showering and bathing.
Make sure your bathroom has mats on the floor to prevent slipping. If you have slippery hardwood or tile floors, you can get area rugs or other mats to place around the house to add more traction to the floor.
The kitchen in particular may benefit from some extra traction on the floor. When using rugs, make sure you place a rug mat beneath them to prevent the rug itself from slipping or moving.
4) Metal Roofing
An unexpected improvement is switching out your roofing for metal roofing.
This kind of roofing has many benefits including longevity, durability, and energy efficiency, but it also impacts your safety. Metal roofing is less of a fire hazard than traditional asphalt roofing.
While other types of roofing might spark due to a forest fire or even lightning strikes, metal roofing won’t. You can be kept safe while reaping all the other benefits metal roofing provides.
5) Protect Your Outlets
If misused, outlets can be dangerous. Before anything else, make sure you’re using your outlets properly.
Don’t overload them with too many appliances or too much voltage. Safe practices are important but there are several ways you can improve your outlets to prevent shocks or other injuries.
One way is to use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). GFCI outlets prevent shocks and they can even prevent fires. These types of outlets are a standard in most homes, but you may need to install them yourself if you have an older home.
Your priority should be to install them in bathrooms, garages, crawl spaces, and laundry rooms.
Another great tool is a surge protector, which limits or blocks voltage going to your devices. As an added bonus, this also saves you money by protecting your expensive devices.
If you have small children, you should also put outlet covers on any unused outlets.
6) Install Lights
Some of the most common accidents around the home include falls. These falls can be caused by a lot of things such as clutter or dark areas.
The best solution to help decrease falls is to increase lighting. Installing lights in dimmer areas of your home can improve everyone’s visibility so they don’t trip.
Areas to consider are the top and bottom of stairs, in the garage, and even just on your front porch.
For outdoor lighting, you can even get automatic lights that turn on as soon as it gets dark. Make sure your lights are easily turned on by the entrance of a room to decrease the need to enter unlit areas.
7) Add Supports
Another cause of falls around the home can be a lack of supports or handholds. Make sure the railing on your stairs is sturdy and secure.
You should also be considerate of other stairs on your property, such as porch steps, and install railings as needed.
If you have a deck, you should ensure that the railing surrounding it is safe and secure. Another place to add handheld supports is in the bathroom.
You can add a grab bar in bathtubs and showers to give people something to hold onto in order to prevent slipping. This is especially beneficial to older members of your household.
8) Install a Security System
As you improve your home’s safety, consider adding a security system to your home. Having a security system in place can do many things for you.
It helps to alert you to intruders as well as deter them. Your system can allow you to monitor your home via your phone while you’re out.
You can know your home is protected and have more peace of mind. There is also a great deal of variety among security systems and you can customize them to your home.
You can install outdoor cameras, alarm systems, window/door sensors and more. Whatever your needs, there’s something out there for you.
Home improvements have a wide range of uses, but safety is by far the most important.
The best part is, you can handle most of these improvements on your own. Take some time to evaluate your home to see where you may be lacking in certain safety measures.
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