“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” – Leo Tolstoy, “Anna Karenina”
Since spring is just around the corner, many people are planning to build new homes or renovate their current homes – projects that involve a lot of time, not to mention money, and maybe even a few tears.
However, “a home under construction or renovation is more vulnerable to damage or destruction than at any other time in a home’s history,” according to the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. “Improperly stored work rags may combust, newly installed plumbing can leak, and intruders might vandalize your vacant home” and that’s just for starters.
To ensure your new construction or renovation projects go as smoothly as possible and to protect your investments as well as your property, we offer some tips from Chubb.
- Keep enough portable fire extinguishers on your property. Since a home under construction is susceptible to fire, having several fire extinguishers on hand will enable you or the workers to put out small fires. Remember, small fires can cause a lot of damage. Chubb recommends multi-purpose models (Type ABC) that weigh at least 10 pounds. If you’re renovating your home, you should put a fire extinguisher on each floor. Be sure to mark the location of the extinguisher.
- Never disconnect your fire or burglar alarm during a home renovation. However, keep in mind that a lot of dust is produced when workers are sanding floors or doing plaster work. That dust just might trigger your alarm. Contact your alarm company to find out what they recommend you do during this time.
- If you’re building a new home, plan to install a burglar and fire alarm systems as soon as possible. In fact, you can install a temporary alarm system as soon as the house is enclosed. All you need is a phone line and a temporary power source so the alarm system can be centrally monitored. That means that your provider will be able to automatically notify the proper authorities in the event of a fire or break-in after workers have left.
- Think about installing a sprinkler system. Installing a sprinkler system is an affordable way to protect your property against a major fire.
- Take precautions to keep unwanted people away from the construction site. A vacant construction site is a prime target for burglars or vandals. Consider installing motion-activated lighting, perimeter fencing, gates or chains across driveways. You might also consider hiring a security guard to protect your home while it’s vacant.
- Ensure workers clean up at the end of the work day. Ask them to remove scrap lumber, sawdust, cardboard containers and other highly combustible construction materials, as well as flammable rags and solvents, at the end of each day to prevent fires.
- Keep emergency numbers (fire department, police department, ambulance) close by. Ensure these numbers are visible.
Taking these steps will help ensure a successful, safe and stress-free (as stress-free as possible) new construction or renovation project.
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