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If you tend to think of home safety in strictly functional terms, you may be relieved to know you don’t have to abandon your designer sensibilities when it comes to improving your home’s overall safety. In fact, these tips show just how easy it can be to make safe look sensational.

AppliancesOutdated appliances aren’t just an eyesore and drain on your home’s energy resources; they can actually be dangerous. Over time, electrical components and other mechanical functions can wear down, which may result in a higher risk of fire or water damage. A new suite of appliances can give a tired kitchen an instant facelift, and with the wide range of options available, you can create just about any look you desire, from an ultra-modern sleek motif to a farm-style design that blends modern convenience with yesteryear charm.

If replacing your home appliances isn’t in the budget, it’s important to ensure they’re being properly maintained. This applies to the kitchen, of course, but also other appliances throughout the house, such as the climate control system, water heater and water filtration system. Regularly cleaning and assessing operations can help you keep on top of potential concerns. Also keep up on regular service schedules so an expert can evaluate problems that may not be immediately apparent and ensure your appliances are operating at peak efficiency.

Window TreatmentsWindows, and more particularly window treatments, can often play a significant role in a room’s ambiance. Custom-made drapery and other window treatments are ideal for giving any living space a personal feel. However, upgrading your window treatments isn’t just about creating a delightful new space. Cords on window treatments pose a significant risk, especially in homes with small children and pets who may become tangled in the cords.

A new window covering safety standard by the American National Standards Institute requires a vast majority of window covering products sold in the United States to be cordless or have inaccessible or short cords. By early 2019, corded window coverings will only be available on custom-order products, as corded products are still needed by a wide range of consumers, including the elderly and those with disabilities, those short in stature and those with windows in hard-to-reach locations.

To ensure your window treatments meet both your safety and functional needs, it’s a good idea to work with a certified window treatment expert who can meet in your home to find the perfect window treatments to complement your style, decor and budget. From energy-efficient shades and cordless shutters to blackout draperies, privacy blinds and decorative hardware, a decorating consultant can work one-on-one with you to bring your vision to light. For added peace of mind, their professionally installed window treatments include a one-year guarantee.

DoorsAn attractive, inviting door is an important element of your home’s exterior facade, but it’s also an important safety feature. For the door itself, a solid wood door is both aesthetically pleasing and functionally sound, but if your budget can stand it, steel is even better. Avoid pretty window panes that can be easily broken, giving access to the locks. Be sure the frame is in good order, as well, as even the sturdiest door can be forced off a weak, rotted or poorly installed frame.

A deadbolt that extends at least an inch into the doorframe is a basic must. It’s also a good idea to forgo the push-button knobs and opt instead for a more secure keyed doorknob, which is more difficult for an intruder to manipulate. Also remember the same principals apply to every entry point to the house, not just the front door.

—Family Features



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