The Importance of Safety Considerations When You Remodel Your Newtown Home
At every stage of planning, design and construction, it is important to think about safety in your remodel or home addition. There are, in fact, two aspects of safety to consider when you add on to your Newtown, PA home or remodel; safety during the project and safety in your remodeled home. A quality Newtown, PA remodeling contractor will consider the safety of your family and others who are on your property or in your house during construction time, but there are some important considerations that may be easy to overlook.
Begin by thinking about who is living in your home and about who is likely to be living in the home in the next five to ten years. Are there young children in the home? What is your age? Will anyone with a disability be in the home? Will your parents/grandparents be moving in with you? Planning the safety features of your home starts with the special needs and unique challenges faced by individuals in your family and by the design of the home itself.
One of the most obvious potential dangers in any home is a staircase. How steep are the risers? Are the stairs covered with a material that makes it likely or unlikely that someone could slip and fall? Are there railings or banisters on both sides? Have you installed adequate lighting at the top and bottom, as well as over any landings? Are there light switches for those lights easily accessible before entering the area? Are the rails or banisters at the correct height? Could someone fall between the vertical supports?
If there are young children in the home, you will need to plan for locks on some of your cabinets or drawers in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room and the garage. Make sure you plan for enough locked storage to secure all medicines, cleaning chemicals, and gardening chemicals and supplies. If you store insecticides or lawn care items in your basement, you should also plan for a secure storage space for these items as well. If you are selecting new appliances for the kitchen, you might want to choose items that have the controls on the surface instead of the front. You might also want to place your furnace and water heater in an enclosed area. Don’t plan for use of space heaters.
It is always a good idea when taking on a remodeling project to go ahead and install good smoke alarms and replace all smoke alarms that are more than ten years old. Install a smoke alarm in each child’s bedroom or each bedroom used by an elderly or disabled person. If your home has a divided bedroom plan (with the master bedroom on the other end of the house or on a different level of the house) or if you have converted the attic or basement space to a bedroom, you might want to opt for a interconnected smoke alarm system. This way, if an alarm goes off, the others in the house will also go off to alert everyone.
Be sure you plan for adequate space for people to get around in each room and turn a wheelchair (if necessary) or use a walker. This is especially important in bathrooms. Choose faucets and shower heads with anti-scald devices to prevent burns. Plan to use devices like doorknob covers to keep children out of bathrooms when not accompanied by adults. Plan to install non-slip surfaces in and around tubs and showers. Install grab bars in bath tubs and showers.
Choose sturdy or built-in bookcases that cannot be pulled over by children. Ensure that all office equipment in the home is out of the reach of children, especially paper cutters, shredders and sharp objects.
These basic home safety steps will help you protect your family. Your Newtown, PA contractor will help you with other things you need to consider in light of the particular needs of your family as well.