When one thinks of their home, it’s common to feel comfort and security. However, there can be many dangers that can compromise your health and safety, leaving you vulnerable to injury—and even death. In this article, we’ll take a look at five design ideas to make your home safe from natural elements and man made accidents.
- Residential Fire Curtains and Alarms
If there’s one thing that strikes fear into any homeowner, it is their home catching fire. Considering the statistics on homes engulfed in flames, with the injuries and property damage that results, this is a very real threat that can affect nearly any home.
Taking common preventative measures to protect against fires is a smart decision, like installing smoke alarms and regularly testing them. Also, making sure your home is equipped with a fire extinguisher is a correct move, particularly if you catch a fire early enough. Additionally, fire curtains—a relatively newer trend in home design—can ensure that areas engulf in flames are isolated and extinguished to allow for less damage, more time to contain the fire and escape unscathed.
- ICF (Insulated Concrete Form)
Insulated Concrete Form, known as ICF, is a form of building material that uses hollow foam blocks stacked into the shape of the exterior walls of a building, reinforced with a steel reinforcement bar (“rebar”), and then filled with concrete. As a replacement for wood-framed houses, ICFs exceed wood’s inherent weaknesses, including susceptibility to fire, moisture (leading to mold-growth), and strength. And in many studies, ICFs have been shown that they are able to withstand 200 mph winds—something unthinkable with traditional wood-framed construction.
- Slip Free Flooring
According to recent statistics, more than 1 million Americans are injured every year due to slips and falls. Furthermore, an estimated 17,000 deaths have been directly linked to slips. To avoid this, slip free flooring is a must. Luckily, there are a variety of slip-free materials available that blend textured surfaces with stylish looks and low maintenance. This includes cork, carpeting, textured linoleum, vinyl, and rubber. By installing these countermeasures in key areas (i.e. bathroom, stairs and steps, moisture-prone surfaces), you can avoid these problems with careful planning and design.
- High Quality Doors and Windows
Having high-quality doors and windows can keep your home safe from criminals, animals (like bears) and high-winds that can propel projectiles dangerously. Not all windows are made equal, and often cheaper materials can leave your home susceptible to break-ins and damage. Ensuring that doors and windows have proper locking mechanisms is one part; the second part is to ensure that the material used for these items is of the best quality as well as durable and reinforced.
- Appropriate Living Space
Some homeowners may believe that laws are too restrictive and choose to willingly violate laws to break building codes. Remember that many codes aren’t just an inconvenience meant to line the pockets of inspectors and material companies. Instead, you should be proactive and actually hire an inspector to go through your home periodically—even if you’re not looking to immediately sell your home.
Qualified inspectors can ensure that your living spaces are not only up to code, but less susceptible to fires, electrical mishaps, water damage, and so forth. For instance, you may have repurposed a portion of your home for a new bathroom, only to neglect to install GFCI outlets (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter). An inspector can help recommend changes before disaster occurs.