When designing a new house it seems that a majority tends to put aesthetic and comfort high up on the priority list. Construction style, interior design and quality of finish were commonly presented first during our many display house visits.
While style and aesthetic are important when building a new house we also think safety are paramount and needs to be taken early in the design process of a new house in general, and new kitchen and bathroom in particular.
You can check out this helpful article at Yourhome.gov.au about how to design a house that is safer to live in.
A few tips I picked up include:
- Have the microwave installed above the eye level of children to limit exposition to radiation
- Kitchen designs with unobstructed access to the working triangle (a triangle formed by the stove, refrigerator and the sink)
- Make sure privacy locks on bathroom doors can be opened from the outside in the case of an emergency. Actually all privacy locks in our house can be opened from outside
- Have a night light or movement sensitive light switch in the passage for safe access to the toilet at night. One easy way to achieve this is to have a power point installed in the hallway and plug in a LED night light sensor that operates when there isn’t enough day light or in the dark. You can find different models that consume only 1watt but provide more than enough illumination for the entire hallway. We have one of theses for a 6m long hallway. Guests can easily find way to the bathroom without having to switch the ceiling lights on. I’m amazed to visit new houses in which the corridor to the bathroom is totally in the dark (even during day hours) and you have to fumble and guess 2 minutes to figure out where the light switch is
A more complete list of advice on safety and security can be found here.