Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hidden Dangers In The Home

  Much of what we do during a remodel involves safety: keeping the space safe during a job, designing for a family to live safely in a space after the remodel, preparing the new space for kids or adults to age gracefully & safely, etc. etc. 
  In conjunction to our work with home safety, it is also National Window Safety week. So, with that thought in mind, we thought about posting some obvious - and some maybe not so obvious - tips for home safety. Afterall, your home should be the one place in the world where you always feel safe!
    • Electrical Safety:
    • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, send about 2,400 children a year to the emergency room: electrical outlets. Cover them, lock them, protect them...there are many options on the market!
    • Replacing a correct size fuse with a larger size fuse can present a serious fire hazard. If the fuse in the box is rated higher than that intended for the circuit, excessive current will be allowed to flow and possibly overload the outlet and house wiring to the point that a fire can begin. Be certain that correct-size fuses are used. (http://www.homeinspectorlocator.com/)
    • Falls: 
    • Slips, trips and falls are the most common accidents in the home and lead to more than a million people going to hospital annually.
    • Grab bars can help you get into and out of your tub or shower, and can help prevent falls. Check existing bars for strength and stability, and repair if necessary. Attach grab bars through the tile to structural supports in the wall, or install bars specifically designed to attach to the sides of the bathtub. 
    •  Remove rugs and runners that tend to slide. Apply double-faced adhesive carpet tape or rubber matting to the backs of rugs and runners. Purchase rugs with slip-resistant backing. Over time, adhesive on tape can wear away. Rugs with slip-resistant backing also become less effective as they are washed. 
    • For all stairways, check lighting, handrails, and the condition of the steps and coverings. Stairs should be lighted so that each step, particularly the step edges, can be clearly seen while going up and down stairs. Consider refinishing or replacing worn treads, or replacing worn carpeting. Worn or torn coverings or nails sticking out from coverings could snag your foot or cause you to trip. The lighting should not produce glare or shadows along the stairway. You should be able to turn on the lights before you use the stairway from either end.
    • Windows:
    • Keeping windows and doors open not only provides fresh air through the home, but it is a hidden danger in your home if you have little ones. Window falls increase dramatically during the spring and summer months; however, they can be prevented. It takes supervision and a device called a window guard (http://www.safekids.org/)

    • Keep windows locked and closed when they are not being used.
    • Keep furniture away from windows so kids cannot climb to the ledge.
    • Burglar-proof your glass patio doors by setting a pipe or metal bar in the middle bottom track of the door slide. The pipe should be the same length as the track.
We've barely scratched the surface here so we encourage you to post any questions or comments you may have so we can answer your questions and help others stay safe in their homes!

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