If you are working on a home remodeling project, there are a lot of safety tips you need to keep in mind. In addition to using power tools carefully and avoiding falls from ladders, you also need to think about the potential risks of fires. To keep yourself safe, consider the following essential safety measures:
1. Turn Off the Power
If you are working on anything that has to do with electrical wiring, make sure to shut off the power to that area. Also, while dealing with wiring, look at your existing wires. If the insulation is stripped or the wires are deteriorating, that area could be a fire risk, even after your project. You may want to talk with an electrician about improving the wiring.
2. Make Sure Your Fire Extinguishers Work
So that you can easily react if a fire starts, make sure that you have fire extinguishers on hand. Check existing extinguishers to make sure that they are not expired, and replace them as needed. Also, make sure that the extinguishers you have on hand work for the types of fires (grease, electrical, etc) that you are likely to encounter.
3. Invest in Fire Blankets
You may also want to get a few fire blankets. If you are welding, for example, and a spark starts something nearby on fire, you just throw the blanket on it, and that suppresses the fire. Depending on the type of remodeling work you are doing, it can be helpful to keep a few blankets on hand.
4. Check Your Fire Detectors
Before you start working, check your fire detectors or smoke alarms to ensure they are functioning properly. If a fire starts in the remodeling area while you are not there, these alarms can be essential at alerting you. To be on the safe side, you may want to upgrade to a monitored system—then, if the smoke alarm goes off, the authorities are contacted for you.
5. Clean Up Work Spaces
It's also important to clean up workspaces when you are done. Sawdust, in particular, can serve as powerful kindling for a fire once it starts. In the right temperatures, sawdust can even spontaneously combust.
6. Contact Your Insurer
In the rare case that a fire does start, you need to ensure you are financially protected. Contact the agent for your home insurance policy. He or she can let you know if fires started by home construction projects are covered. If not, you may need a special builder's risk policy.