Something often overlooked when constructing a new home or worksite is that during the construction phase, a building is most susceptible to fire.
In a published report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), during the years 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,440 fires in structures under construction, undergoing major renovation or being demolished. These fires resulted in $310 million in property damage each year.
We found these simple and cost-effective solutions to significantly reduce the threat of fire:
- Theft detection. Install a temporary fire alarm system that reports to a central station. Because smoke detectors are susceptible to false activation from construction dust, heat sensors are better suited for temporary fire detection. Cellular communication to the alarm monitoring station should suffice if an active phone line is not yet available.
- Security. Because of the increased threat of arson and vandalism while a property is unoccupied, install security fencing or motion-activated lighting. Keep the property locked after working hours.
- Fire extinguishers. Keep fire extinguishers in visible locations throughout the job site.
- No smoking. Smoking should be prohibited, with no-smoking signs posted in visible locations throughout the construction site.
- Flammable materials. Store flammable materials such as paints, varnishes and solvents in an approved flammable storage cabinet. Building materials, such as lumber should be stored outside the building and away from the project.
- Electrical. According to the report, “electrical distribution and lighting equipment was involved in 20 percent of the fires in structures undergoing major renovation, including 14 percent involving wiring and related equipment.”
Remember to discuss these loss-prevention measures with your contractors, including subcontractors, before construction begins. These established protocols can help keep your home or business safe during this critically important time.
To protect yourself with insurance, contact Lang Insurance today and ask for a quote.