DIY Network

Interior Home Safety

This DIY Basic will provide tips on interior home safety.

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Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:
stair rail brackets
stair rail
end caps
measuring tape
carpenter’s square
miter saw
power drill with bit
finishing nails
nail set
stud finder
laser level

Step 3: Prevent Falls and Scalding

Keeping your family safe begins inside your home.

Start by putting non-skid mats under all rugs, including bathmats.

In tubs and showers, use non-skid, self-adhesive decals.

Install nightlights to help prevent falls. Keep stairways well lit, and carpet stairs or install safety treads.

Install temperature-controlled faucets to help prevent scalding.

Step 4: Have Furnaces and Appliances Inspected

Have your furnace inspected yearly to make sure flues are open.

Have gas ovens and cooktops inspected yearly, and check gas connections regularly for signs of wear or corrosion.

Install a metal exhaust tube on your dryer and inspect it regularly for built-up lint, which could cause fires.

Step 5: Practice Fire Safety

Make and practice a family fire escape plan.

Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on all floors, especially near bedrooms, and check alarm batteries whenever the time changes.

Install fire extinguishers in kitchens and furnace rooms.

Step 6: Install a Security System

Install security peepholes in all exterior doors.

Keep porches well lit.

Install a home security system or motion-activated alarms on doors.

Fit all exterior doors with interior thumbscrew deadbolts.

Step 7: Install an Interior Handrail

Make sure stairways have handrails on both sides. The interior rail should be small enough to grip comfortably.

Locate and mark studs in the wall.

Measure and mark the height of the rail. Standard height is 30 inches but you should match the height of the new rail to the height of the old rail.

Use a laser level to find and mark a line on the wall where the rail will go. Screw brackets to the wall every 24 to 36 inches.

Measure the length of the stair wall and cut the rail to fit. Ends should be mitered at 45-degree angles.

Attach end caps with glue and finishing nails.

Set the rail in place and mark the positions of the screws. Pre-drill the holes, screw the rail to the brackets, countersinking the screws.

Fill screw holes with wood plugs, sand smooth and touch up paint or finish.