Designing your own home is rewarding and exciting, but safety still needs to be a major part of your plan. When working with a builder, make sure you take steps to ensure the maximum safety of your family in every aspect of the design. The following are a few ideas that you may want to implement.
#1: Consider multilevel escape routes
It's easy to figure a room is safe in the event of fire as long as there is a window and a door providing two escape route options. This is generally true for ground floor rooms, but upper floors and basements require a bit more consideration. In basements, even you don't currently plan to finish it, consider adding at least one egress window – this is a window that is large enough for an adult to fit through. For upper floors, you need to have a way down from the window. This can be a permanent fire escape, or you can have escape ladders installed inside the window sills. With a flip of the sill, an anchored ladder will be revealed for easy use. Since these ladders are bolted to the window frame beneath the sill, you don't have to worry about properly securing them during the stress of a fire.
#2: Install sprinkler systems
Some people are worried about overhead fire sprinklers because they worry they will go off by accident. Fortunately, modern versions are well designed so this doesn't happen. Most have heat sensors, so a burnt dinner isn't enough to trigger them. The sprinkler also sink into the ceiling behind panels that renders them virtually invisible, so they don't compromise the appearance of your home. At a bare minimum, consider installing them in high danger areas like the kitchen, in any room with a fireplace, and in the furnace room.
#3: Plan for extinguishers
Having fire extinguishers accessible is a key to stopping a blaze, but many home owners overlook them because they are unattractive on display. Building your own home is a good time to plan them into your design. You can install extinguisher nooks in important areas, such as in the kitchen and in hallways outside bedrooms, then have a door placed over the nook that matches the other doors and cabinets throughout your home. Another option is to have dedicated nooks or hangers installed inside cabinets or closets so that you can easily keep extinguishers at hand.
Talk to a fire safety company, such as Amerisafe, for more help.