Top 5 Home Safety Features to Look for When Buying a HouseApril 13, 2021
What are you looking for in a home? Is it the massive space, the house design, colours or furniture? It is easy to be sidetracked by these beautiful things, but one thing that you should take note of is the house’s safety features. Small or unnoticeable things that realtors do not usually bring up can affect your health, safety and comfort. Today, we are sharing five safety features you must look for when buying your dream house.
External Ducting for Kitchen Range Hood
Every house has a kitchen, but not every kitchen is equipped with a range hood, much more, connected to an outdoor vent. A range hood draws the smoke produced during cooking. This is important because smoke, especially from oil, is hazardous to one’s health. There are two types of range hoods, ductless and ducted.
A ductless range hood draws and filters the smoke and blows it back inside the house. It acts like an air filter using activated carbon or charcoal, removing odour and smoke particles. You will need to replace or clean the filter once or twice, depending on the amount of cooking you do. Ductless range hoods are standard in apartments and some houses, which does not indulge in heavy cooking. The upside of a ductless hood is that it is easy to install and remove like any other furniture. The downside is that it is not as effective as ducted hoods, and you will have to purchase filters to have cleaner indoor air.
Ducted range hoods are more effective and widely used commercially. It is a kitchen feature worthy of investing, particularly for homeowners with large families and does a lot of cooking.
The hood is equipped with a filter, blower fan faced to the duct, thereby absorbing the smoke while pushing it outside. The larger the size of the blower, the more effective it is in transferring smoke.
Unlike the ductless type, you need the help of a professional for the installation of ducted hoods. The location is also essential because the longer the ducting is required, the bigger the blower fan is to push air through the duct effectively. The upside of a ducted vent is that it is proven effective to suck smoke. You must consult a professional regarding the fan’s type and size if you plan to do some grilling.
Let’s continue with smoke detectors while we are on the topic of smoke. Australian Building code states that a house must have at least one smoke detector per floor and space between rooms. Traditional smoke detectors were either photoelectric or ionisation smoke alarms. These days, there are multi-sensor alarms equipped with photoelectric, heat, carbon monoxide, and ionisation smoke alarms.
Photoelectric smoke alarms are more responsive to smouldering fires. The smoke enters the vents activating the alarm by reflecting light into the light source.
Ionisation smoke alarms use an ionisation process that is suitable for flaming fires. The smoke disrupts the ionised air produced by minute amounts of radioactive material placed between two plates, thus triggering the alarm.
Carbon monoxide alarms are useful in rooms with poor ventilation like the basement or garage. Carbon monoxide is produced by burning wood, gasoline, propane and natural gas. In homes, an obstructed chimney and malfunctioning furnace or water heater cause accumulation of carbon monoxide. Since carbon monoxide is an odourless gas, installing a carbon monoxide alarm is crucial in saving your family’s lives from a silent and deadly threat.
You must do regular checkup and cleaning to ensure the optimal performance of the smoke alarm. Vacuum the vents and perform monthly testing. Replace batteries accordingly.
Alarm System with Four PIR Sensors
Passive Infrared sensors measure the infrared levels emitting from moving objects. PIR is used in lighting control, burglar alarms, and motion-activated lighting. PIR equipped alarm system is designed to detect warm-blooded moving individuals like humans and large pets. Once activated, it monitors an area and detects both changes in temperature and movement. Regular PIR detector units typically have two sensors covering a zone, using four overlapping sensors to cover larger room areas and provide more security.
Another advantage of a PIR based security system is reduced power consumption and memory space. This is because the software triggers the camera to record after the PIR sensor is activated.
External Ducting of all Bath/Toilet Exhaust
Do you have an extractor fan installed in your bathroom? If so, where do you direct it? Extractor fans are used to draw air from the bathroom. It is comparable to a kitchen range hood that draws smoke. Installing an extractor fan is vital to prevent the production of mould and mildew. Maintaining a hygienic bathroom does not end with an extractor fan. It should be connected to a duct leading outside. Traditional bathrooms vents upward to the attic, which holds moisture damaging the wood. The wood will continue to rot and collapse when left unchecked.
Waterproof Power Points
Waterproof power points or splash-proof sockets are now widely used to prevent electrocution and short circuit during flooding. A protective flap is added, isolating the socket from water. An excellent quality waterproof power point is furnished with a premium grade gasket. The gasket is a critical component in sealing the outlet from water. It should be made from plastic or rubber for extended wear.
Splash-proof sockets are best to install, particularly in places with water outlets such as bathrooms, kitchen and laundry rooms. The basement is also a great place to install waterproof sockets for its moisture content and in an unexpected case of flooding. A splash-proof socket is also beneficial for homes with toddlers because it prevents electric shock.
A home is a place where you should feel safe. Safety should be the foremost priority. Don’t forget to look for the said home features when purchasing a new property. Better yet, make sure to include these safety features in building a new home. Only collaborate with builders or sellers who prioritise safety as much as aesthetics.