While a home should be one’s safe haven full of comfortable amenities, it can also be an unknowingly dangerous place. For example, of course it’s nice to have hot water in a house, but it also means that scalding one’s self can be a very real issue. And building a luxury add-on such as a deck may improve the comfort of a home, it can also present its own set of hazards. Luckily, there are plenty of simple things that you can make sure you do to make your home safer, starting with these seven.
Turn down your overall hot water temperature to avoid scalding
Many of us enjoy having a hot shower from time to time, but there are also times where the water is hot to the point of scalding. To avoid that unpleasant experience, make sure that you turn down the temperature on your water heater – it saves you energy too!
Install carbon monoxide and methane gas detectors
Carbon monoxide and methane gas are undetectable by our not-so-sensitive human noses, so it can be very easy to fall asleep and not even realize that you are inhaling toxic gases overnight. When inhaled in large quantities, these gasses are lethal, so it’s imperative to ensure that you have a carbon monoxide and even a methane gas detector installed in order to alert you to the presence of these gasses and their danger.
Install ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)
Having an exposed electrical outlet can be dangerous, especially if you’re operating numerous electronic appliances at one time or if you have a little person at home that enjoys getting into trouble. GFCIs are the standard white outlets that we see in every wall, and these types of outlets prevent electric shock. Make sure that they are installed in your home to minimize your chance of harm through electricity.
Make sure your deck has a railing and is properly anchored
A deck railing seems like a no-brainer, but there are many who avoid it because in can obscure a view. Adding a railing not only ensures fewer falls, but can also keep out certain critters who are drawn to decks. It also pays to make certain that your deck is properly anchored should it crumble under the weight of your next outdoor party.
Conduct regular maintenance on your HVAC system
A faulty air conditioning unit or furnace can spell disaster: they can either fritz out and electrocute someone, or completely explode and be the reason for an expensive home insurance claim. Make sure that the systems that regulate air-flow in your house are checked by a professional quite regularly.
Make sure your stairs (especially those to the basement) are not too steep.
Often times, when building a home, an architect will haphazardly throw in plans for stairs to the basement. Here’s a fact: most incidents involving falls in the home involve basement stairs because the room is generally dim and the stairs are entirely too steep. As a general rule for all stairs in the house, they should be 6 ¾” wide and 8” high in order to provide enough footing.
Have a fire escape plan
None of us like to think about what would happen if our beloved home went up in flames, but it’s important to have a fire escape plan in case the worst does happen. It’s better to be alive thanks to sound planning, than to avoid the topic altogether.