Comfort and Safety at Home: Consider these Home Improvement Safety Tips
The world can be uncertain at times. We all need that one place where we know we are safe: home. Whether you’re living alone or raising a family, safety at home is always important. It is the last place we should worry about getting hurt, or feeling insecure is in our home. There are options and ideas on how you can improve your home’s safety blueprint.
In America, we average a little more than $10,000 on home renovation projects. We take our homes seriously and enjoy creating spaces to suit our lifestyles. Home renovating is well worth the cost since we do our living in our house. If you are considering a home renovation project in your future, don’t forget that safety matters too — not just a beautiful home. Thankfully, with some home improvement safety tips, you will find you can have beauty, comfort, and safety in your home.
Keeping Others Out
For many, when we think “home safety,” our minds go immediately to security cameras and alarm systems. Even if you live in a great, peaceful neighborhood, sometimes that extra peace of mind is just what we need. Home intruders will sometimes force their way in when they know you are away…but other times it can happen while you are home. Either way is terrifying and dangerous. Your family’s safety is number one, and you deserve to leave your home or sleep safely there at night, knowing you will be alerted immediately of suspicious behavior. Homes outfitted with residental security systems often deter a home intruder through the sheer presence of a camera or lawn sign.
There are a wide variety of security systems on the market now. You can get a simple camera at your front door, or an entire house system which activates when any window or door is tampered with. Although many security systems can be installed as a DIY project, it is best to speak with a specialist, such as a locksmith, when making this important decision.
It is easy to not imagine falling at home, until someone you care about actually falls. It is hard to predict what injury can occur when this happens. They aren’t always minor if someone falls just right. With some home improvement safety tips, you can find inexpensive and easy ways to help prevent a slip and fall from happening at home. Keep a few things in mind such as lighting, handrails, floors, stairs, and reducing clutter. That way, you’ll have a good start in making a list of how you can help prevent trips, slips, and falls.
Here are some top tips to reduce slips and falls, both indoors and outdoors.
From The Outside In
A good place to start when checking out your house for possible falling hazards, is on the outside, then work your way in. Uneven pavement, patio bricks, and steps that are falling apart, are great traps for someone to trip and fall. t may be necessary to call in a professional to repair those types of hazards.
How does your garage floor look? If it is squeaky clean, it might also be super slippery. We bring a lot of dirt and moisture onto our garage floors. It is impossible not to. That moisture can cause us to easily lose our footing when walking into the house with bags of groceries. Epoxy flooring coatings are created to not only make our garage floor look nicer than plain old concrete, but they also have texture that can be added to make the floor have more of a grip and less slip. This is a project that can usually be done on your own with proper equipment and ventilation, and of course when carefully following instructions.
Floors, Stairs, and Railings
Where your feet go, so do the falls. If your feet are moving through your house, they are most likely to be the fault of your sudden accidental trip and fall scene. However if you prepare your home properly by following some home improvement safety tips, you can lessen that chance. Floors and stairs need a safe path for your feet.
Rugs are pretty, comforting, and can warm up a room nicely…but some are slippery, and an accident waiting to happen. If you have a rug that seems to always have to be put back into place, you may need to invest in some inexpensive no-slip padding to place underneath the rug. It helps hold the rug in one place and therefore makes it less of a possible tripping hazard. Rugs can be very helpful as long as they sit still. They can make a floor less slippery if laid down properly.
As you are checking out your floors, making sure slippery spots are taken care of, and rugs are in place, don’t forget to head up the stairs. Stairs are most likely wood, carpeted, or painted in your home. Uncarpeted wooden (or painted) stairs can definitely be slippery and pose a slipping threat. Just like the epoxy paint on garage floors, texture can be added to a paint used on stairs to decrease slipperiness. In reading home improvement safety tips, you may notice
runners mentioned as an option in making your wooden or painted stairs safer. A runner can be a long rug like material made to fit your staircase and easily laid on it. Stair treads can also be purchased and placed on each step individually with an adhesive backing. This is a simple afternoon project. Even carpeted stairs can get slippery over time as the carpet flattens as wears out. Take a realistic, but safe walk up and down your stairs, and consider what you can do to improve the safety of them.
And speaking of stairs, nothing could be more helpful next to them, then a handrail. Adding a handrail is one of the easiest, yet very important home improvement safety tips, you can easily do yourself. If you are not comfortable, a handyman could do this quickly for you. Such a simple addition to your home will increase its safety factor greatly.
Maintain Your Home For Safety
Home maintenance can seem daunting at times. As you look around, there is a lot to maintain, and it can be difficult to prioritize. As you go over lists of home improvement safety tips, don’t forget the ones that aren’t so obvious, such as your HVAC system, and roof.
It is never recommended that you climb on up and check out how well your roof is doing on your own unless you have the proper training and experience. In this case, you will need to forego your spirited DIY attitude and call in a professional roofer. It is pretty obvious, we can not tell what is going on with our roofs. They are, well…over our heads. But seriously, your roof is literally sheltering your home. It is so very important and needs to be maintained. It is recommended by roofing professionals to have your roof inspected twice a year, spring and fall, before the harsher weather hits. As with many areas of our homes, it is best to maintain the roof and fix small problems, rather than ignoring it and allowing greater damage to happen. Keep your home safe by taking care of its cover — the roof.
There is an unseen area of your home keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It is easy to forget about it as it just keeps chugging along…until it stops working. We notice quickly on a hot summer day or a freezing winter evening if our HVAC system has given up. Not only is regular maintenance absolutely necessary to avoid expensive A/C and furnace repair, but also to keep your home safe. The system is being run by either electric or gas, and constantly recycling air in your home. That all needs attention twice a year, to make sure everything is firing safely. You should have a regular schedule in spring and fall, with your HVAC system repair professional, to keep your heat and air running safely and smoothly.
Also, when your HVAC is being serviced twice a year, use those times as a reminder to pull your dryer out and check the hose and vent for lint and debris. The hose should be replaced annually and the vent can be vacuumed out. Dryer lint build-up can cause house fires, but is easily forgotten about.
Bugs around our house are more than a nuisance. They can be a safety hazard and should be added to your home improvement safety tips. There are some at-home sprays that can be purchased to get rid of annoying insects and spiders, but an exterminator is a better guarantee to make sure they do not come back. Some bugs and spiders bite and can even cause allergic reactions. They do not belong in your safe home.
Don’t Mess with Electrical and Gas
As you decide which home improvement safety tips are necessary for your home, please leave any electrical changes to an electrical installation service. Electricity can be very dangerous, and not a great option for DIY home improvement projects unless you are an electrician. As time goes by in your home, you may need to replace light fixtures, or an outlet or two may stop working. Those are just examples of two possible scenarios that require electrical wiring. Both may need to be fixed for safety’s sake, and both require a professional. The same goes for gas. Call the gas company with concerns, and allow a service person to install any of your gas run appliances.
Get the Lead Out
If you live in a home built before 1978, there is a good chance lead paint was used when the home was newly built. You probably had a home inspection at some point and took care of it. But, if you have been in the home since before 1978 or you know for a fact it has never been taken care of, it is time to get the lead out. That lead paint needs to be covered with a special encapsulating paint, or removed completely by a professional. Chipping and flaking off the old stuff needs to be avoided. As we know, children may ingest the paint chips and that is not healthy or safe. You also don’t want the dust from lead paint circulating in your home.
Home Improvement Safety Tips Cost Money
Nothing is free, home improvement included. Some safety improvements will be at a minimal cost due to inexpensive materials, and the possibility of doing it yourself and avoiding labor costs. If you are taking on an unavoidable project, and just don’t have the money, you may want to see if you qualify for a home equity loan, which can often be easily rolled into most conventional home loans. You’ll need to speak with a lender to see if you qualify.
If a loan is not your thing, and you prefer no debt, then try checking off the list a little at a time, as you save to afford each project. Be patient and you will get there eventually.
Protection Through Home Insurance Companies
Your home needs to be insured. If that isn’t on your list of home improvement safety tips, please add it. When it comes to safety, this is one of the first things you can do to protect your home and family. If something in your home is damaged or becomes unsafe due to matters out of your own hands, your home insurance may cover some or all of the cost. There are sometimes issues with insurance and dealing with receiving payments on time. If this happens, contact a property insurance attorney to help you get what is owed to you. Most insurance companies are very helpful and are there to serve you.
Enjoy making your list of home improvement safety tips, and gathering information from others. As you improve your home with more safety features, you will have a feeling of satisfaction, knowing you can rest easy, as you come home each day to your safe and welcoming home. Just being aware, and taking your time to get each step done, will have your home safe in no time.