How to Prevent a House Fire While Undertaking Renovations

Fire departments in the United States respond to thousands of fires at structures under construction each year. Nearly all are entirely preventable. Having your house go up in flames after countless hours of renovating it can be devastating. While there are no guarantees that you won’t experience a house fire, you may be able to reduce the risk by taking these important actions:

Focus On High-Risk Renovations First

If you’ve purchased a rundown property to renovate, focus on high-risk areas first. These are issues that might have been identified in a building inspection report, such as poor-condition electrical wiring or poorly maintained fireplaces. Contact professionals in your area to address these issues as soon as possible. For example, you might search ‘chimney sweep Williamsburg VA’ to rectify your fireplace problems and ‘electrician Williamsburg VA’ to rewire your home.

Trying to use your electricity or fireplace when they have glaring problems might put you at risk of a house fire.

Avoid Using Portable Heaters

Portable heaters can help maintain a consistent temperature for paint drying. However, they can also pose a significant fire risk. They are responsible for over 21,000 fires every year in which 300 people lose their lives. 

More often than not, they cause fires when flammable items are placed too close to them. While convenient for fast and easy heat, not using these heaters at all can be a much better option for reducing the fire risk in your under-renovation home.

Clean the Work Site Often

Major renovations like removing an old kitchen to put in a new one can result in a whole lot of mess! Dirt, dust, debris, and old building materials can build up before long. It can be tempting to keep everything in a pile until you’re ready to dispose of it, but this can be a safety hazard.

Flammable materials can be dangerous next to possible heat sources. You may also be creating a fire risk with materials that have come into contact with solvent-based materials. Get into the habit of removing packaging, waste materials, and debris every day.

Store Renovation Products Safely

A fresh coat of paint can transform any tired home. With that in mind, you might have already stocked up on all the paints and solvents you need to give your house a new lease on life. While painting is likely your primary focus, spare a thought for your house’s safety at the same time.

Store all paints and solvents away from anything that can generate heat, like vehicles in garages, furnaces, and water heaters. Many renovation products are flammable and may be at risk of catching fire before spreading to other parts of your house.

Keep Fire Extinguishers On-Site

Even if you believe there’s only a small fire risk during a house renovation, don’t underestimate the importance of having fire extinguishers on-site. You may be able to prevent a small fire from becoming much more extensive.

Ensure you purchase the right fire extinguishers for the right fire types. For example, you can use water fire extinguishers on paper and wood flammable materials and dry chemical powder extinguishers on paint, petrol, and electrical equipment.

Most home renovations go off without a hitch, but that’s not everyone’s experience. Keep these site safety tips in mind for your upcoming house makeover. You may then enjoy a reduced fire risk for peace of mind.

- by Matt Watts