A home should be a place where everyone should feel safe. If a particular home design poses a threat to that safety, the architect or designer may be held liable for personal injuries — even if that injury is due to an accident.
As a designer, it is your responsibility that the design elements you include will serve their function without causing any harm. Most of the accidents at home involve furniture. A blog post by David Resnick & Associates (injuryclaimnyclaw.com/brooklyn/accident-lawyer-in-fort-greene/), states that sometimes children may be at fault for an accident, but since an older adult is more knowledgeable they can be charged for the injury.
Most accidents are preventable. As a responsible adult, here are the things that you should look out for designing an accident-free home.
Check Tip-Over Standards
If you are designing a home with kids, be wary of furniture tip-overs. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 8,000 to 10,000 people suffer from injuries resulting from falling furniture. When choosing furniture, make sure to know the tip-over standards for TV stands and chests. Only go for the products that meet the requirement. It would also be wise to anchor to the wall any unstable furniture.
Choose Bunk Beds Carefully
If a home has children less than six years of age, do not include a bunk bed. For older children who must use a bunk bed, use these guidelines for added safety:
Get Wide-Based Dressers and Chests
Designing a kids’ room should, as mentioned earlier, include furniture that meets the tip-over standard. Dressers and chests must have full bases, and each drawer must have automatic drawer stops. There are drawer guides available today that feature soft-close mechanism, preventing little fingers from getting pinched.
Steer Clear of Recliners
While recliners today follow industry guidelines for safety, they can still cause accidents. For adults, recliners can cause them to lose balance and fall. Children can fall from recliners and suffer head trauma.
Installationof Floating Shelves
Floating shelves are decorative design elements that you can use in a home. However, some designers fail to remind their clients that these shelving can only carry a prescribed weight. Heavy objects placed on these shelves can cause serious injuries, such as head trauma or even more serious injuries. Make sure you know the total load a floating shelf can carry, and advise the homeowner accordingly.
Securing TV Sets to Walls
Make sure that you properly install TV sets on the wall. Double-check if the screws are in place and appropriately secured. Sometimes, hung TV sets can fall and cause injuries.
Choice of Upholstery
An upholstered sofa is a top choice for designers and homeowners for its elegance and luxurious feel. However, many do not know that upholstery is highly flammable. Placing an upholstered sofa near a radiator or fireplace can be a fire hazard.
Additionally, upholstered furniture also exposes household members to dangerous toxins. Note that some manufacturers use perfluorinated compounds or PFCs to make upholstery fabrics resistant to water, stains, and grease. Several studies show that PFC exposure heightens an individual’s risk for cancer, liver problems, and congenital disabilities. If you don’t want to be responsible for this, make sure that the upholstery manufacturer does not use this compound.
Keep the Garden in Mind Too
Sometimes, designers fail to integrate safety when designing the garden. They forget that it is also one of the areas in the home where accidents can happen. Make sure that when you design a garden for a new client, you have the safety of the homeowner in mind. For instance, you can incorporate rubber matting for pathways to lessen the risk of accidents. You may also include anti-skid pavers as an additional safety precaution.
If you are in charge of designing and building a new home, make sure you get the necessary permits and inspections. If the structural integrity of the home is sound, you can be sure that you will not face any significant safety issues or legal liabilities later on. If you are renovating a home, make sure to inquire about the common issues encountered by the homeowner, so you can incorporate these time-saving features into your design.
Living in an accident-free home is everyone’s dream. It is essential for homeowners to feel safe in their home. It is their sanctuary, and it should be the place where they can be fully at ease. When a home causes them to worry, it is time to make necessary adjustments in the design.