Is basement safety at the top of your home maintenance? It should be.
A finished basement is a great way to increase a home’s worth and usable area. Yet, altering a room comes with some safety considerations. In this blog post, we’ll discuss six important basement safety tips that will help you feel safe and secure when using your basement. By following these tips, you’ll be able to maximize security, ensure the safety of your family and create a safe environment for everyone to enjoy. So, let’s get started!
Follow these steps to create a safe basement.
Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
One of the first safety measures you will want to take is to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test the alarm and give it a monthly cleaning to verify proper functioning. If you connect the smoke alarm in your basement to other alarms throughout the house, you’ll be able to hear the alert even if you’re upstairs or asleep. Carbon monoxide is produced by anything that burns, including your furnace and water heater. Installing carbon monoxide monitors in your basement is essential to prevent the accumulation of this odorless, invisible and dangerous gas.
Build by the Code
There are rules around having a living space in your basement, no matter where you live. Much of the nation abides by a set of regulations developed by the International Code Council (ICC), which includes recommendations for basements. For instance, a finished basement must often have an egress window (also known as an emergency exit window) that satisfies specific requirements if emergency personnel need quick access. Information includes:
- A window that is at least 20″ wide and 24″ tall
- A minimum of 5.7 square feet of space to crawl through
- The window well must have a minimum of 9 square feet of floor space, and the sill height must be at or less than 44″ from the floor.
- The window well’s length and breadth must be at least 36″.
- If the window well is deeper than 44″, permanent ladder access is required.
These precautions guarantee that firefighters or other people can enter the basement and that individuals unable to evacuate from the upper level still have a way out.
Add Burglary Prevention and Detection
Living in a city can be pretty scary, especially when you have to worry about burglars breaking into your home. That’s why it’s so important to have burglary prevention and detection in your basement. Doors and openings in the basement are frequently used by burglars to enter houses. With the right security measures, you can feel safer knowing that your home is better protected. Entry sensors that interact with the alarm system should be installed on all ground-floor windows and doors, including those in the basement. The alarm will notify you if a window or door is opened, allowing authorities to be called.
Keep Stairs Free of Clutter
Maintaining clean, uncluttered stairs in your basement will make it easier to escape quickly in an emergency. Create a backup escape route in case the stairs are obstructed during a house fire. Nobody should ever have to go through the life-altering experience of dealing with the aftermath of a house fire.
Have Radon Detection Kits
A radioactive gas called radon is derived from the soil. Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible and odorless gas that can cause serious health risks when it accumulates at high levels. Unfortunately, radon is most commonly found in basements and can be especially hazardous for people who spend a lot of time in their basements. In addition to smoking, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, but without the proper tools to test for it in a home, it is hard to detect. These kits detect the levels of radon in the air and can help reduce the amount of exposure your family will have to this toxic gas. You can work with a radon remediator if levels are higher than what is considered safe. Additionally, it is important to have your home tested regularly for radon levels to ensure that your family is safe from this invisible danger.
Keep the Area Dry
Basements naturally pull water from the outside because they are positioned underneath. Fortunately, careful planning can ensure that your finished area stays dry and prevent moisture from entering. Among the things to be on the lookout for are:
- To prevent water from penetrating the basement walls, ensure window wells have sufficient drainage.
- Look at the slope of the earth away from your home. Water may flow towards your home if the grade isn’t steep enough or is going in the incorrect direction.
- Check the downspouts to determine if they drain far enough from the foundation, and keep a watch on the gutters around the roof to make sure they don’t leak.
- Check for mold and white powder adhering to the surface of the original foundation walls before covering them. These signs may point to water seepage that has to be fixed before it is permanently buried.
Homeowners can gain a lot from finished basements, including increased value and additional living space. Yet, just as you would with other areas of your house, it’s critical to consider safety when using this area. Make your finished basement safe for your family and visitors by using the advice in this article. At Valor Home Services, we are committed to giving our customers exceptional basement finishing services and high-quality craftsmanship. We have more than 25 years of experience servicing the Greater Metro East Area as a reliable, stress-free basement remodeling contractor. To read what our satisfied clients have to say, check out our Google reviews! Make an appointment with us to receive a free estimate.