Important safety tips when renovating your property

Property renovation (kitchen and bathroom remodelling, deck addition, composite cladding, roof replacement, knocking walls down and the like) is a hazardous job. 

Not just for the person completing the work, but also with regards to the safety of your home, family and belongings whilst the work is taking place.

There is always a risk of hazard when carrying out renovation projects. Examples of some of these hazards are theft, moisture intrusion, trespassing, injury and fire, to name just a few.

Whether you are employing professionals or completing some of the renovation tasks yourself, the following are some safety tips you should consider as you remodel your residential property:

Check for structural damage first

Ensure the functionality of your home structure before beginning your renovation project. Older homes may have a weak or compromised structure because of exposure to flooding, rotten wood or other age related issues.

A good way of identifying structural failure is looking for mildew or mould on the wall or cracks. Check for cracks that could be structural, uneven floors and sagging ceilings.  These are all signs that something structural needs fixing. 

If so, then you may need a professional building inspector to assess the property and you’ll need the structural issues fixed when undertaking renovations. Hopefully your builder or architect will notice any issues and advise whether a full inspection is required.

Work safely at heights

Make sure the correct safety equipment is used on the exterior of the house when working at height.  If working on the roof or completing the exterior with composite cladding then you may need scaffolding around the property, or sturdy ladders may be suitable depending on the height and severity of the job.

Keep a clean site

Make sure the renovation site is always clean. Tools shouldn’t be littered around; they should be kept orderly. This will prevent unnecessary trips and falls.

Use the correct safety equipment

Use the appropriate safety gear (such as long trousers, safety helmet, gloves, hard toecap boots and safety goggles).  Dust can cause cardiovascular and respiratory problems. Make sure you wear a mask in the presence of heavy dust particles. 

Don’t mess with electrics

When handling electrical work, make sure the power supply is turned off.  It is always best to use a qualified electrician for electrical work rather than attempting it yourself.  You don’t want to get a shock or cause an electrical fire!

Be present

Even if you are using contractors, try as much as possible to make yourself available when the property renovation project is ongoing. Simply put, ensure you are on-site, whether it is a plumbing or electrical task, building or demolishing. This will give you a chance to evaluate the condition of your house before the construction workers finish their task and to flag up any issues/dangers you see yourself. You can also use the service of an independent project supervisor in case of time constraint or unavailability. 

Vet any tradespeople

Make sure you use professionals who are skilled and have suitable insurance in case anything goes wrong.  Otherwise you could be out of pocket if something drastic happens during the renovation and the builders you use are not insured for damages.  Check reviews, get recommendations and see examples of the builder’s previous work.

Keep your kids out of harm’s way

Make sure your children are aware of the dangers of the renovation and are kept away from the work as much as possible.  Do not let them touch anything and keep them in a separate room away from the dust, noise and dangerous tools that are being used.  Stress the importance of them not touching anything or getting in the way of the builders.  Make sure they have plenty of entertainment in their bedrooms or the living room.

Safety products to keep you safe during property renovation

The below products can help to keep you, your belongings and your home safe when carrying out your property renovation:

Security alarm and camera

It is important to keep an eye on the contractors you have assigned to work on your remodelling projects. A security camera will easily serve this function, especially when you are absent or away from your home.  If there are any issues then you can check the footage to see how they occurred.

It also improves the security of your home, enabling you to track events as they unfold on site.  It can prevent intruders or provide proof of any intrusion.

If you are not living at the site whilst the work is being completed then an alarm system will help to deter burglars whilst the property is vacant.

Smart locks 

Property renovation may need the service of several different construction workers in your residence. These are strangers who will be around your home for an unspecified stretch of time. Understandably, this might create a sense of insecurity. A great solution is a smart lock installation. 

The smart lock is a keyless, digital security system that enables you to secure your doors with your phone or personal computer. It offers flexibility and security at once.

The smart lock allows you to control who has access to your home as you can set schedules for locking your door remotely. Some smart locks provide additional cool features such as geo-fencing, alarm notification, voice activation and more. 

Fire alarm system

A fire alarm system is an essential safety item needed during a home renovation, especially when your project revolves around electrical fault and wiring upgrades. When carrying out an electrical upgrade, there is always a risk of sparking and fire hazard.

A fire alarm system draws your attention to a fire outbreak as soon as it happens. This will enable you to extinguish it or safely escape. Installing a fire alarm system is an excellent way of taking proactive measures to safeguard lives and property

Fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are not for decoration. They are your first line of defence against the fire outbreak during property renovation projects. In the previous point, we outlined that there is always the risk of fire outbreak during electrical and wiring upgrades. Fire extinguishers are easily accessible and affordable and could prevent avoidable fire damage to the rest of your property.

Final thoughts

There’s a lot to consider when having renovation works on your property.  You may be focused on the end result, but take time to ensure everyone involved is working safely and your home is safe too.

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