With so many people stuck at home these days, more and more have turned to home improvement projects to make home a better place to be, as well as to simply keep busy. People are painting and updating their bathrooms. They’re working on their lawns and changing out light fixtures. And so on and so on.
Fortunately, some of the same things that can make a home a more comfortable and attractive place can also make it safer for all who live there. These projects can include things like:
-Fixing slippery floors
-Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
-Updating door and window locks
-Cleaning up your home’s exterior and landscaping
Fix Slippery and/or Uneven Floors
One of the most common accidents in the home is falling. Slipping in the bathroom, tripping and falling down the stairs, and other fall injuries send millions of people to the emergency room every year. To make your home safer and keep this from happening, you should try to make your floor as structurally sound and stable as possible.
Depending on the state of your floors, this project could have a number of variations:
- Make sure any throw rugs have non-skid pads underneath them. Tack down any curled-up corners.
- In bathrooms and other wet areas, find a way to texturize any super-smooth flooring. This can range from adding non-slip stickers in the bathtub to replacing the high-gloss tile throughout the bathroom with something that has a matte finish.
- Do the same thing with any high-gloss hardwood or tile floors or stairs. If they’re hardwood, you will probably just need to refinish them, not replace them.
- Tighten up any loose banisters or handrails.
- Make any unexpected step-downs–into a sunken living room, into the garage, etc.–more visible with paint or decorative tile. Or, if it’s just one or two steps (and you have a little extra money to spend on the endeavor), you could consider having the floor leveled out entirely.
Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If you don’t have them already, you should have at least a couple of smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. And of course, you also need to make sure that those detectors are fully powered (by battery or hardwired) and ready to protect you and your family.
Whether you’re starting new or want to upgrade the clunky models you’ve always had, you have a number of technologically-advanced options these days. There are a number of detector models that you can control with your phone, that can alert you with a voice rather than a piercing siren, and that can be wirelessly connected with other units so you’ll be alerted to a fire or CO leak anywhere in your home. You can even cut down on the number of units you need with all-in-one smoke/carbon monoxide combo detectors.
Update Door and Window Locks
Technology has also improved the way that people can lock and unlock the doors and windows in their home. A variety of keyless options allow you to set personalized codes for each person who needs to enter. Worried you forgot to lock your door? Some of these same sets give you the ability to check and lock your door from anywhere with integrated WiFi.
Window locks still tend to be manual, and they should be checked periodically for proper function. Test all of your windows for ease of opening, closing, and then securing them. If any of the locks don’t work, you should replace them.
“Crime-Proof” a Home’s Exterior
If you’re really worried about someone trying to break into your home, you can make some efforts to make your home less appealing to a would-be home invader. The best part here is that you greatly improve your home’s curb appeal while also deterring crime.
This project can have multiple sub-tasks, depending on the current state of your yard:
- Make sure all plantings are properly trimmed and maintained. Otherwise, an overgrown yard can provide a lot of hiding places.
- Install landscape lighting at strategic points throughout your yard. This will both highlight decorative elements and also help to eliminate shadowy areas where someone could lurk.
- Consider adding motion detector lighting near your home’s entrances.
- Put in security cameras and/or a video doorbell.
These are, of course, only a few of the things that you can do to update the look and safety of your home. But they are essential projects that can set the foundation for other home improvement projects to come.
Image attribution: Photo by Monkey Business Images – www.shutterstock.com