Renovating Your Hotel? Be Aware Of Hidden Dangers!



Renovations to a hotel can change the entire image of a hotel or just add more guest space and conveniences.  However, renovations are often when your building is at its most vulnerable for disasters and emergencies. For the best outcome, you should be aware of potential threats and know how to avoid them or respond accordingly. When a Property Improvement Program (PIP) is underway – disasters often happen and those fully prepared are the ones that have the best results.

  • Using poor quality materials.
    Everyone understands the importance of keeping the renovation on budget, but doing so at the expense of your building’s safety is a big problem. Improper materials and installation of water systems, for example, can lead to frozen pipe lines and major leaks in the future. Using poor quality materials can slow down construction, since materials more vulnerable to defects and breakage. Avoid going too cheap on the structure itself.
  • Anticipate poor weather conditions.
    This one can kill a renovation project right away and end up costing you more in repair than the entire renovation budget itself. Whenever you’re renovating a hotel, you’re already making it more vulnerable to potential natural disaster damage. If you don’t already have a proper emergency response plan in place to handle the situation, your building is at risk, but for a renovation, that can mean unfinished water systems, vulnerable roofing space, and other points of entry for damage.
  • Improper safety protocols for guests and employees.
    Hotel renovations can be performed piece by piece, to allow the business to remain open, but this is a period when safety and security need to be taken very seriously. Factors such as improper electrical safety can effect floors above and below the renovation site. The same is true of changes that are made to plumbing; all of these potential scenarios need to be considered by the site manager and construction team.
  • Choosing the wrong contractor.

Too many times building owners select their contractor based on price alone.  As the saying goes… “the bitter taste of poor quality lingers long after the sweet taste of low price is forgotten”   Do your due diligence on any contractor you are considering. Don’t let their sales pitch pull you in to a major disappointment or serious property disaster.  Guest rooms that can’t be rented because of a disaster means less heads in beds, and that means less revenue.

  • Disruptions to vital fire protection systems.
    There are already regulations on building codes that extend to this area, but it’s still something that occurs. Even a small fire could become a major problem in the presence of materials and debris from renovation, and could also quite easily spread to other parts of a hotel if left unchecked. Maintaining fire extinguishers is also critical, since risk of fire is even more likely on renovation sites. Using all precautions and response tools designed to minimize or negate damage and threats to safety is extremely important.


In general: Never cut corners on safety, and never take short cuts on getting the job done as quickly as possible. Be thorough with all safety planning for the renovation itself, and you can avoid some dangerous, and expensive, damage.  Make sure the disaster recovery contractor you choose offers a PREP disaster preparedness program and is PREP Certified!  Water Extraction Team (WET) welcomes your questions and encourages you to do your due diligence on us!