How to Renovate Your Home to Make It Safer

Written by | Updated December 17, 2013

Can you not get enough of watching the transformations of homes on HGTV and dreaming of making the same transformation in your own?

Besides making your dining room fancier or modernizing your living room, it’s also important to consider safety renovations. You can find many ways to renovate your home to improve the safety of your family and your belongings.

Install Proper Locks

If you need to renovate all of the doors and windows in your house—or at least those that face the outdoors—then you should right away. This is one of the easiest and most important ways to ensure safety in your home. Make sure the locks are tamper-proof and use double locks (deadbolts) rather than just door handle locks.

front door lock

Avoid Trips and Falls

Trips and falls are a common household accident and the damage could be serious. Renovations can include redoing flooring that has been known to cause problems, such as buckled hardwood or carpeting. If certain walkways are not the right width to comfortably fit passersby, you may consider knocking out a wall to make a little more space. Also make sure furniture and electricals are all in places that will prevent falling from occurring. Move electronics closer to outlets, and move furniture out of walkways to prevent trips and falls.

Take Care of Electricals

Besides making sure they are in the right places and out of walkways, it is important to ensure electricals have no problems in terms of wiring. Wiring problems can easily cause sparks, which can start fires in your home, particularly if the wiring is older. Use surge protectors whenever possible and replace faulty appliances, particularly those that are old and could have wiring problems.

Fireplace Renovations

Fireplace safety is one important area to consider, as fires in the home are serious business and you want to make sure your fireplace is free of any dangers. If you do believe something is wrong, it’s important to call a professional to renovate it as soon as possible.

One of the most important aspects of a fireplace and fireplace safety is the chimney cap, which is a metal piece that keeps animals, rain, and snow out of your chimney, while also stopping sparks from the fire from landing on your roof. Make sure the cap is in good shape and that it has no bird nests or debris on it.

Other possible chimney and fireplace renovations include replacing crumbling or missing bricks (both outside on the chimney and inside on the fireplace surround, hearth and firebox), straightening the chimney, and ensuring it sticks out at least two feet above your roof. Indoors, make sure you clear all debris and décor that sits too closely to the fireplace to prevent fires.


Remove Radiators

Radiators are becoming more obsolete with advancements in central AC and heating, particularly those that you can control from outside of your home. Radiators can look unappealing and take up a lot of space, so these instances may be cause for a renovation, particularly a removal.

In addition to simply getting rid of radiators and depending on central heating, you can also replace the heat source with modern electric fire sources, a gas fireplace or wood-burning stove, for example. They’ll not only take up less space and prevent damage to your furniture from being placed too closely to the radiator, but they’ll also look better and can even be a new focal point for the décor of your room.

Alarm Systems

Smoke detectors are important, and while most households have them, you may need to renovate your ceilings to include them in more rooms of your home than just the kitchen. A fire can start anywhere, so it’s important to have these detectors in all areas of your home. You also need to be sure to use and test the devices rather than just putting them in as a safety net. According to Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council, while 97 percent of households report having a smoke detector in their home, only 19 percent of families actually tested the alarm at least quarterly.

As for security systems, you have many feature options. You can install security cameras to keep an eye on your home, whether it’s looking out for possible intruders or monitoring your pets and children at home while you’re away. You can also look at motion sensor outdoor security lights, which can detect movement of possible burglars from all angles and entrances of your home. These lights are often inexpensive and not too difficult to install. You can install a glass break detector that can produce a loud and high-pitched alarm if a window is broken, and some even simply detect vibration.

Vivint is one security provider that can help you find the best security system for your home. They have three different packages that each offer security monitoring, but they take security a step further in providing energy management services such as a mobile thermostat and energy efficiency lightbulbs, as well as home automation with lighting and appliance control, remote door locks, and security camera access and control. These renovations can further increase the safety of your home at prices you can afford.

From security systems to fireplace maintenance, home renovations are some of the many ways you can make your home and your family safer, both from harm and from intruders. Run down this checklist in your own home and see where you might be able to make improvements.
How to Renovate Your Home to Make it Safer

Written by Carolyn Heneghan

Carolyn is a nutrition and environmental crusader who loves using and exploring technology almost as much as she enjoys writing about it. Learn more

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