Your beach house probably holds many fond memories of family and friends gathering. Your vacation home has many needs that your main residence probably doesn’t. It may not provide the safety features required because most homes – and most beach homes – don’t automatically come with these.
Consider the following a checklist of must have safety features for a beachfront home. Some you may already have, some you may need to add. To enhance the safety of everyone who visits it, your beach house needs the following nine key safety features.
Carry home insurance.
Protect your investment and those at the beach house by carrying home insurance that covers liability situations and storm damage. In some areas, like Florida and Texas, this requires a separate policy for wind. In all beachfront areas, the homeowner should obtain flood insurance.
Install lightning rods on the home.
Water and lightning don’t mix. Each year coastal homes face the threat of hurricanes and storms that bring lightning. A lightning rod can help protect your home from a lightning strike that causes a fire.
Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
Carbon monoxide detectors increase in importance if your beach house has an attached garage, fireplace or an appliance using a fossil fuel, like propane or natural gas. Test your detectors every six months. Replace their batteries each year.
Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
Train yourself and other family members on how to use it. Homes with a wood or fossil fuel burning fireplace need a second extinguisher by the fireplace.
Keep your landline.
Although cell phones seem to have taken over, storms can knock out the power, meaning you can’t charge a cell phone. Also, cell towers get overloaded with calls in an emergency.
Have a backup generator.
Whether it runs on gas or propane, this provides a source of emergency power for cooking and lights in an electrical outage. Although solar generators have gained popularity, they won’t function as well in rainy or cloudy weather.
Keep a full emergency and first-aid kit in your home.
You can purchase 100-piece kits at most home improvement stores. It will go far beyond the basic pain killers, bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, gauze and tweezers. The emergency kit component should include a NOAA weather radio and a couple of large flashlights. It also needs extra batteries for both. Familiarize yourself with the weather radio as soon as you purchase it. Program it to alert you to emergency weather situations.
Install a sprinkler system.
Consider additional nozzles in any room with a fossil fuel appliance or fireplace, and in the kitchen and garage. Tie your sprinkler system’s function to your backup generator. Lightning striking your home can knock out the electricity and start a fire. Linking the system to an automated backup generator ensures your sprinklers will continue to function and help contain the fire.
Have life jackets on hand.
Your beach home needs at least one life jacket per person and at least two life preservers. Also, keep an emergency whistle handy with these items to call for a lifeguard or other emergency beach patrol. Every inexperienced or non-swimmer should wear a life jacket while in the water. Have at least one family member train in simple rescue. If a riptide pulls someone in or an inexperienced swimmer gets in trouble, you’ll be prepared.
If you don’t have these items already installed, have a contractor visit your beach house before the summer seasons kicks in. Install these nine items to make your family safer at your vacation home. Your vacation should be a break from worry. Let these safety features help put your mind at ease.