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Exterior Home Safety

This DIY Basic will provide tips on exterior home safety.

More in Home Improvement

Lighting the walkway

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

dual-bulb light fixtures
lamp post
mushroom walk lights
solid board or metal fencing
fire-resistant plants and trees
landscaping rocks
sand
power washer
chisel
concrete patch
concrete phosphoric acid cleaner
detergent
water and garden hose
wire brush
trowel
carpenter's level
mixing bucket

Step 3: Add Exterior Lighting

For security, mount dual-bulb exterior lights outside all exterior doors. If one dual bulb burns out, the other will light the entrance.

To prevent falls, light walkways and steps with lamp posts. Or you can use low-voltage mushroom fixtures to light walks.

Mount double, motion- or heat-activated floodlights at corners of eaves.

Step 4: Install a Fence

Install metal or wood fencing to contain and protect children and pets.

Tip: Solid board fencing keeps out animals and gives privacy.

Step 5: Landscape With Fire-Resistant Plants

To lower the risk of brush fires, clear underbrush, debris, and leaves at least 30 feet back from house.

Plant fire-resistant trees and plants like oak, ash, live oak, sycamore, privet, holly, rhododendron, boxwood, sage, yarrow, French lavender .

Remove flammable trees and plants like pine, eucalyptus, and fir.

Landscape near house with rocks, sand, and fire-resistant ground cover like sedum, pachysandra, creeping thyme, and wild strawberry.

Step 6: Repair Walks and Driveways

Power wash walkways yearly to remove slick mold.

Keep concrete walks and driveways in good repair. To patch concrete, chisel out cracks and fill with concrete patch. Level small dips and swags with concrete patch.

Thoroughly clean and roughen concrete surface with phosphoric acid cleaner. Wash with detergent. Soak surface with water until saturated. Mix thin slurry of patching compound and brush onto surface. Before slurry dries, apply concrete patch with trowel.

Smooth and level patched area with grout float.

A convex mirror on a pole at end of driveway lets you see on-coming traffic and pedestrians.

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