When you think of your garage and hazards, you might think of the sharp objects or chemicals stored in there being dangerous for your children. But your garage is actually much more dangerous than you might imagine.
Look at these statistics for more insight:
- 6,600 garage fires per year in the U.S.
- 30 deaths
- 400 injuries
- $457 million in property loss
While these numbers are horrifying, we don’t mean to scare you. We want to educate you and show you how you can prevent a fire from occurring in your own garage.
We’d like to give you the tools to make your garage as safe as possible from fires.
Regardless of preparedness, your best bet is to hire a professional inspector to assess the safety of your garage.
We should mention this article is especially significant for homes with attached garages.
Why Are Garages Prone to Fires?
- Storage: Garages are typically the storage centers for flammable materials like gasoline, paint, motor oil or other flammable liquids, including paint thinner or brake oil.
- Cars: Oil and gas can leak, sometimes unnoticeably from your vehicles, eventually leading to igniting a fire, if given a chance.
- Tools: Garages are often utilized as a workspace for the handyperson in the household. Accidents involving welding, cars or flammable liquids pose a fire hazard.
- Heaters: It’s not uncommon to find water boilers or heaters located in the garage. They can cause sparks, igniting fumes or fluids.
Preventative Measures for Garage Safety
- Hire a professional inspector to assess if your walls are fire-rated. And unless you are trained, it can be difficult for the average homeowner to make this assessment alone. So, it’s better safe than sorry!
- Install a hatch or barrier to any access to your attic, if there is an entrance leading to your garage.
- Keep the floors clean and devoid of clutter, including bits of paper, rags, oil-stained materials or other flammable materials. Eliminate the opportunity for fire to spread by keeping your garage floor tidy.
- Tape down and organize cords and wires, so they are not twisted or tangled.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets, which can cause sparks or smoke.
Things to Consider If You Have a Garage Door Leading into Your Home
Pet doors, especially ones made of plastic, are highly flammable and can unfortunately facilitate an easy spread of fire to your home.
A great security feature is installing a self-closing door in addition to properly and strongly sealing all doors. A professional inspector can assess the safety of your door’s seal and recommend adjustments, as necessary.
Safety Tips for Your Garage and Storage Areas
- Avoid using any burners or open flames in your garage. This includes propane deep fryers or grills. Thanksgiving Day has seen countless deep-fried turkey disasters, all due to propane accidents!
- Clearly, label and store flammable liquids above ground. Only store liquids in small amounts and replace, as necessary.
- Store propane tanks outdoors. They are sturdy enough to withstand the elements and pose the threat of exploding in your garage if triggered.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy and safely stored above ground.
Fire safety is all about prevention.
Following these steps and educating your family members will ensure that you’re taking the proper precautions to protect your home and garage from the threat of fire. Make it a habit to regularly run through these tips so that a little accident doesn’t turn into tragedy.
Most of all, remember, we’re here for you! Schedule your inspection today, and we’ll see you in 48 hours or less!