With another summer ending and with the clock hurtling towards Easter and the winter months, now is a great time to ensure your home is a safe haven, whether it’s already in existence or you are taking the plunge and building your dream home from scratch.
Safety begins with the home’s layout. Think about which parts of a home represent the greatest risk to safety and keep those areas away from busy thoroughfares. The kitchen is a prime example. It’s full of sharp edges, breakable objects and numerous heat sources. It’s not a place for people to be coming and going on their way to other parts of the home. Ideally, the kitchen should have its own dedicated space. If you have your heart set on a central kitchen with open access, it’s wise to separate cooking areas with an island to keep foot traffic well away from the potential hazards.
According to ACC statistics there were 830,000 claims for injuries around the home in 2013, many of which can be prevented by taking a few measures to improve safety. Falls around the home are common and can be caused by such things as a single step separating your living areas. How often have you been caught out going up or down a step that you didn’t know was there when you’re out and about? It’s a good idea to differentiate floor levels with several steps, which are harder to miss than with a solitary, single step.
It’s also important to plan your living room so that there are no extension cords lying across the room, where tripping is almost a certainty. If you’re building new, you will have a chance to meet with an electrician to wire your home. Ensuring the sockets are laid out efficiently is a great way to make your home safer for you, your family and visitors. Nowadays it is common practice to prewire a home during construction for audio visual equipment such as sound systems, home theatres and wall hung televisions so that wiring of any type is safely and neatly hidden within the walls out of harm’s way.
Sadly, a great number of claims lodged with ACC involve children being injured around the home. As a precaution, choose tinted glass for living area windows and sliding doors where running children (or adults) could mistake a closed door for an open one. Even if you don’t have young children yourself, attention to safety will widen the appeal of your home should you choose to sell in the future.
Of course building new means you have the best opportunity to plan a fully safety conscious home, but even if you’re adding rooms, renovating, buying new furniture or just having an Autumnal change around, safety of your loved ones can still be a discerning factor without having to compromise on style.