Lofts can be a great way to make use of extra ceiling space in the home. While most lofts have a fairly solid construction, there are a few things that you can do to make your loft a safer space. Here are five tips from Loft Centre for improving the safety of your loft.
Add a Railing
Lofts often have an open wall side that can be protected with a railing. A good, solid railing prevents anyone from getting too close to the edge and falling. Railings can be installed either by professionals or with home installation kits. Be sure that the railing is well attached and sturdy enough to resist the force of a person’s contact; some railings are simply attractive without providing the added benefit of safety.
Oftentimes, a loft is more cut off from the rest of the house. There are several dangers to this. First, it may mean that guests lean over the railing in order to be heard, which creates a risk of falling. Second, an accident could occur in the loft and the injured party may not be heard in the rest of the house. Installing a PA system in the loft lets everyone communicate more efficiently and safely. The system should be connected to major rooms in the house to give a greater likelihood that the messages will be heard.
Mind Your Ladders
While there are many ways to connect a loft to the floor below, a ladder is one of the safest. A small ladder that is easy to use can prevent many slips and falls. The use of an installed loft ladder not only makes the area look more attractive and saves space, but it also creates a safe way for people to get from one floor to the next. Ladders can be purchased and installed easily, making them a convenient and money saving way to gain access to the loft.
Check for Harmful Substances
Ceiling areas are often the biggest place where harmful substances, such as asbestos, can reside. Since people in loft spaces are closer to the ceiling, they can suffer the health consequences of these toxic substances the most. Be sure to check your loft space for any harmful chemicals or substances before opening it for business. A professional may be needed to verify that the home doesn’t have any harmful substances such as lead or asbestos. Also, be sure that the area is well ventilated; since harmful substances in the kitchen tend to rise with the hot air in the room, the loft may be one of the most affected areas of the home.
Home circulation systems won’t reach the loft as well as they do other areas of the house. For greater comfort and safety in the loft, be sure to have a backup cooling or heating system in the loft area. Blankets or fans may also do the trick for those extreme weather situations. Finally, be sure that the home structure is well insulated and that windows in the loft are sealed properly.
Generally, a loft is a safe and comfortable area of the home that helps you make your home roomier and more efficient. Following the tips above, you’ll also have a space that is quite comfortable and safe for residents and guests alike.