Why You Should Remove Home Safety Equipment Before Interior Painting

There are aesthetic, practical and home safety reasons to remove electrical covers and smoke alarms before an interior painting home improvement project. Before painting interior walls, remove all smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, outlet covers and light switch covers. These tips are best followed for rooms in which nobody will be sleeping until the home improvement project is complete.

Why Remove Home Safety Equipment Before Interior Painting

Aesthetics – You can avoid painting on home safety equipment or leaving unpainted areas on the walls.

Practical – Removing home safety equipment gives you an opportunity to see if they work or if they need to be updated.

Safety – Removing home safety equipment including electric plate covers may reveal old or unsafe wiring that you may wish to update.

Home Safety Equipment to Remove Before Interior Painting

Detach Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Parents concerned about safety may have trouble with removing any home safety equipment. The move will be only temporary. Luckily, were were not living in the house when I did this. If you can prop the smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm in a nearby location, that may be okay temporarily. Or find another suitable location to place the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm for the duration of the home improvement project.

The reason these pieces of safety equipment need to be taken down is that they are expensive to replace if you ruin them with paint. Even with careful edging you may end up getting paint in the openings of the smoke alarm.

Another reason to take them down is so you can verify they work. Test them to verify they are still going to keep your family safe.

Check the batteries as well. Replace the batteries if needed. In one small corner of our house there were three smoke alarms and two carbon monoxide alarms. Of those five, only one of each were in working order. We did not need to keep faulty safety equipment on the walls.

Tip: If you are not painting the ceiling, consider mounting the smoke alarm or other home safety equipment there, according to the smoke alarm instructions.

Remove the Outlet Covers

One mistake that excited home owners make is to ignore the electric outlet covers. You may be thinking that if you get paint on them you can just replace them later. There were some rooms where I accidentally forgot to remove the outlet covers. It turns out that some of them were extra-large. When we went to replace them, we had not checked to see that some were the extra-large size. Instead we bought outlet covers in all one size. While the cost was not large, it was inconvenient to have to go back and re-paint the area that was not painted.

By removing the outlet covers you will also know exactly how many you have that you can re-use, or how many need to be replaced. For example, some of ours were made of metal and had rust stains on them. They needed to be replaced.

Tip: Replace the screw or screws into the wall outlet so they do not get lost. Older outlet covers do not have the black square fastener that holds a screw in place when a wall outlet cover is removed.

Remove Light Switch Covers

This also applies to light switch covers. Keep track of which light switch covers are non-standard or need replacing. Some may have two plugs and a light switch. We have one with three light switches and two plugs, which will be a special order at a specialty store when we are ready to upgrade it.

Be sure to promptly replace all home safety equipment promptly when the walls are dry and the project is complete.

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