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Fire Safety During Home Renovation

This is a guest post by Chuck Lorrell. If you would like to Guest Post, check out the Guidelines here.

Are you having your home renovated? Here are 10 things you should consider to make your home fire-resistant.

1. Fire Extinguishers – Make sure that there is a portable fire extinguisher on the worksite. Depending on the size of the project, you may want to have more than one. Even a small fire can create major damage if it isn’t taken care of immediately. Multi-purpose models (Type ABC) are best for a construction site.

2. Existing Alarms – Never disconnect your fire and burglar alarms during a home renovation project. If sanding or plaster work is being done, you may want to consider putting a plastic bag over them during the day, but don’t forget to take them off when work is finished.

3. Sprinklers – For a larger project, you may want to consider installing a residential sprinkler system, which can provide protection against a major fire.

4. Clean Up – Make sure that scrap materials and debris are cleaned up from the site daily, as they can be highly combustible. Even materials like cardboard, rags, and solvents are extremely flammable, and so it is important that these are picked up as well.

5. Doors – Doors made of solid wood or metal will resist fires much more than hollow ones.

6. Roofing and Siding – Make sure all roofing and siding materials are fire resistant. Replace wood shingles with fire-proof tile made of aluminum, clay, or concrete. Similarly, you can replace wood siding with stucco, stone, or metal siding, or at the very least, give it a coat of fire-retardant paint.

7. Smoke Alarms – Install these on every level of your home, ideally inside or near every bedroom. The two best types are ionization alarms, which are best at detecting invisible fire particles from fast flaming fires, and photoelectric alarms, which are the best at detecting visible fire particles from slow smoldering fires. For the most protection, install both types of smoke alarm in your home. Test them once a month and replace them every 10 years.

8. Insulation – Although most insulation is fire-rated, mineral wool is the best type. It can withstand temperatures up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, and it will not melt when exposed to high temperatures.

9. Gas Range – If you own a gas range, you may want to consider replacing it with an electric one if you can afford to. Gas ranges are both inefficient and pose a huge safety risk.

10. Lighting – If you have recessed lighting, a special type of aluminum housing for recessed lights can protect against insulation fires by keeping the light and the insulation separate. This way, a spark or prolonged exposure to heat won’t start an insulation fire.

Chuck Lorrell is a construction management enthusiast who writes about various topics including everything related to construction and is the owner of the site Construction Degree.

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