If you are planning to build a new home or renovate your current residence, follow these simple tips that can help you avoid any construction-related losses:
- Keep a sufficient number of portable fire extinguishers distributed throughout the worksite. A home under construction is particularly vulnerable to fire. Having several fire extinguishers close at hand can help prevent a small fire from causing major damage. We recommend multi-purpose models (Type ABC) of at least 10 lbs. in weight. The extinguishers should be situated on each level of your home and well-marked for quick access.
- If you are renovating your home, never disconnect your fire or burglar alarms. When floors are being sanded or plaster work is being performed, a great deal of dust can be produced, possibly triggering your alarm components. Rather than turning off your smoke detectors, have them covered with plastic bags or manufactured tops that can be removed at night, when fires often occur.
- If you are constructing a new home, plan in advance for the installation of fire and burglar alarms. To provide protection, a temporary system can be installed as soon as the house is enclosed. Only a phone line and temporary power source are needed to give you centrally monitored protection. This will provide automatic notification to the proper authorities of a fire or break-in after workers have left.
- Consider installing a residential sprinkler system. If installed during the early stages of construction, a sprinkler system is an affordable way to provide protection against a major fire, as it may pay for itself over time in the form of premium reduction credits.
- Take steps to keep unwanted visitors away from the construction site. Vacant construction sites can attract unwanted attention and increase the chance of theft and vandalism. Motion-activated lighting, perimeter fencing, gates or chains across driveways and security guards are examples of ways you can protect your home while it is vacant.
- Require proper storage and disposal of flammable materials. Many commonly used construction materials are highly combustible. Make sure scrap lumber, sawdust, cardboard containers and other debris are removed daily. Also, ask painters to remove all rags and solvents at the end of each day, as they are highly flammable and can start a fire if left unattended. Finally, insist on a no smoking policy.
- Confirm your contractor is adequately insured. When selecting a contractor, ask for a copy of the “certificate of liability” to confirm adequate insurance limits. The liability limit for any one occurrence should equal the total insured value of the project.
For more great tips, visit Chubb.