While you are considering fire alarms and safety matters, you might also think about home security. Home security systems are a great way to protect your family and possessions from the bad guys of this world. A home security system is basically a human detector. Instead of waking you in case of fire, it startles you out of your sleep in case of intruders. You can get professionals to install and monitor the system or you can do it yourself.
Although most professional security companies do a fine job, I advocate the do-it-yourself method; you get a bigger bang for the buck. Modern technology has come a long way when the average guy can go into Radio Shack and buy motion detectors and door alarms for cheap.
On a square house, it takes no more than four stationary or two moving cameras to monitor the entire perimeter. Inside, motion detectors can be rigged to set off loud alarms and flashing lights. You can even get equipment that will pinpoint the intruder's location. Armed with foreknowledge provided by a centrally controlled monitoring system and equipped with a night observation device, body armor and a motorcycle helmet, the homeowner can deal effectively with any intruder.
I believe that a man's home is truly his castle. He has the right to defend himself and his property. However, there is one form of defense I cannot advocate: booby traps. Besides their comical name, there is nothing funny about traps. They could be inconvenient for the person who locks himself out of his house and could prove tragic if our noble fat fireman needs to gain immediate access.
Finally, it is a good idea, whether or not you are working on an addition, to plan escape routes. In case of a fire or some other natural disaster (for example: your wife goes on a cleaning rampage and she is looking for recruits), you should have two ways out of the house. One may be the normal path to the front door. The other might be a trampoline positioned directly beneath your egress window.
In hotel rooms and office buildings, escape routes are posted in every room. I do not recommend this extreme. Yet you should have your family practice house evacuation at least once a year. It is best to associate this drill with a periodic event. Some people schedule it on time-change weekends. Others prefer Christmas day. I have found that the best time is early in the morning anytime my wife's out-of-town friends come to visit.