Safety precautions to take up in the loft Part 1

You haven’t been up there for years, or if you have, it was rife with creepy-crawlies, dense clouds of dust and all sorts of immovable junk. The loft can be the most hazardous part of your home and you don’t even know it! Just entering the loft can be a dangerous prospect.

This is Modern Attics guide on how to stay safe when it comes to tip-toeing around your loft/attic.

Potential incidents to avoid:

  • Falling through floor/ceiling
  • Damage finishes
  • Electrical hazards
  • Irritate your lungs, eyes or skin from the conditions
  • Trip over wires, beams or boards
  • Lofts can be hot in the summer and cold in the winter, so temperatures can affect the environment. Watch out for iced over areas or overheating/melting essential functions of the home
  • Lofts can be very difficult to move through. Watch your step!
  • Your loft can become home for guests you’d rather not play host to. When animals nest up inside you can end up dealing with animal excrement, which may pose a health hazard. Animals to be wary of are squirrels and birds in particular. Bees, hornets and other stinging insects can also infest your attic.

Precautionary measures worth taking

Modern Attics recommends wearing appropriate attire when braving the upstairs loft space. Wear a mask with proper filters and goggles to keep irritants out of your eyes. We also suggest gloves and long sleeves with tight cuffs if you are going to be spending a long time in a non-assessed attic space.

Don’t walk through a loft if you cannot see the ceiling joists. It’s difficult to know where to step. Without decent visibility you may step on a wire, or even through the floor! We recommend you avoid going into lofts where there is any risk at all of damaging the property or injuring yourself.

Safe access to the loft

If you are getting a loft conversion then it’s standard practice to provide easy access into it. Loft access hatches are ideally at least 20 inches by 28 inches. This is a recommended measurement. On top of this specification all access hatches should be insulated and weather-stripped to minimise the air leakage into the loft.

When thinking about stairwell access there are a variety of options. You can have a full staircase leading up. The walls of the stairway and the staircase should be insulated also. There are various specifications required with staircases from having goo tread and decent headroom. Handrails on the sides and guardrails at the top are a must! Consider lighting and whether or not the staircase is adequately lit in the evenings. You can also option pull down stairs as an alternative, space-saving alternative. They are not the most recommended style of loft stairs but they are still a potential choice.  These stairs need to be installed professionally. It’s incredibly important that they are made to be safe and secure. No DIY jobs on this one! It’s too risky.

And there you have our first batch of safety precaution tips for lofts and loft conversions. For more information on the process of loft converting or safety advice please Contact Us.

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