How-To Make Your Tiny House Safe

How-To Make Your Tiny House Safe

by andrewodom on March 6, 2012 · 13 comments


As we draw even closer to the beginning of our actual tiny house construction (combined, of course, with now having yet another life to be responsible for) my thoughts have become focused a bit more on safety.

The other day Crystal and I were talking windows when I suddenly thought Wait! Will any of these windows be appropriately sized to act as an escape route as well? The answer? One will now! And so that got me thinking about ways we could add to our tiny house to ensure a few more safety protocols. In fact, perhaps the tiny house community on the whole is not taking enough security measures in our pint-sized pads. So I began to jot a few things down. A few things turned into this list.

Safety Checks for the living space and sleeping area

  • All outlets and switches should have faceplates.
  • Check that extension cords are correctly rated for the amount of electricity they are to carry and are Underwriter Laboratory (UL) approved.
  • Make sure electric cords are not nailed or stapled in place.
  • Install at least one window that can double as an exit strategy in the event of an emergency.
  • Do not install or store ladder to loft area in a direct traffic path.

Safety Checks for the kitchen (and bathroom as they both have water flow and puddling possibilities)

  • Small appliances (hair dryers, mixers, toasters, etc.) should be unplugged when not in use.
  • Keep all appliance cords away from hot surfaces (toasters, range tops, ovens, etc.).
  • Check that all appliances and electric equipment are located away from the sink and bath.
  • In kitchens, bathrooms, and near swimming pools, standard outlets should be replaced with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI’s).
  • Never leave electric heaters and hot plates unattended when in use.

Safety checks to insure against fire

  • Develop an emergency exit plan for your tiny house in case of a fire. Practice the plan regularly.
  • Keep your vent piping clean.
  • Keep candles and incense away from beds and blankets.
  • Store flammable liquids such as paints, solvents and propane away from heating sources.
  • Install an A,B,or C fire extinguisher approved by The National Fire Protection Association at each end of the house.

Safety checks to insure against carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Use extreme care whenever any types of fuel (oil, coal, gas, kerosene, wood) are burned indoors.
  • Be especially sure there is proper ventilation when fireplaces, wood stoves or other air consuming devices are operated.
  • Never use a charcoal grill in the house.
  • Install a CO detector.

Did I miss anything? What steps have you taken in your tiny house to insure against unnecessary accidents or calamities? Has this post helped you think about ways you can protect you and your family more?

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