According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are 6,600 garage fires every year. They result in 400 injuries, $457 million in property loss, and 30 deaths. Keep your garage and home safer by paying close attention to your fire safety efforts.
Storage of Flammable Liquids
Fire safety professionals recommend storing flammable liquids in a separate location outside of the garage. Flammable liquids include gasoline, oil, and paint thinner. Many people store household and vehicle accessories in the garage that could cause a spark in too much heat. Items like batteries and appliances could cause a fire if you store them too closely to any liquids. In addition, fumes from your car could also ignite the liquids. Therefore, a shed in your backyard is a safer location. It would be best if you also store them in airtight containers.
If you do need to bring flammable liquids into your garage, be sure to do any pouring outside in the open air. If any flammable liquids spill onto the floor of your garage, use cat litter or sawdust to absorbs the moisture.
Plugging in Electronics
Many homeowners enjoy taking on do-it-yourself projects in their garage. However, you must be careful about the way you plug in your electronics. Electrical malfunctions are high on the list of the causes of house fires. Be careful not to overload your electrical system with appliances and tools. Only plug one appliance or electronic device into each outlet at a time. Furthermore, don’t use extensions cords in the garage as they can quickly overheat and cause a fire.
The door that gives access from your home to the garage should be fire-rated. A 20-minute fire-rated door is part of a passive fire protection system that will help reduce the spread of a fire. Therefore, if a fire does happen to ignite in your garage, the fire-rated door will help protect the interior of your home from further damage. Fire-rated doors are self-closing and self-latching.
Install a Heat Alarm
A heat alarm will alert you when the temperature in your garage gets too high. Fixed temperature heat alarms alert when the temperature reaches 136 degrees Fahrenheit. Rate-of-rise heat alarms operate when there’s a rapid rise in temperature — about 12 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit per minute. While smoke alarms are sensitive to many different types of fumes, heat alarms are more reliable.
Clear Access Points
Many homeowners use the extra space that garages provide for storage. However, it would be best if you were careful to keep each access point clear for entry and exit. The door to your house and your garage door should remain clear at all times. In addition, you should conduct the necessary maintenance to make sure that your garage door is functioning correctly so that people can exit quickly.