Every year in the United States, there are around 6,600 fires in residential garages, resulting in nearly 400 injuries, 457 million dollars in property damage, and 30 deaths. Given how destructive these fires can be, it is essential that we all do our part to prevent them in our own garages. To avoid garage fires, please follow the recommendations from the US Fire Administration for fire prevention listed below.
Do not store combustibles in your garage
To start a fire, you need fuel, oxygen, and heat; therefore, to prevent fires, you want to prevent these three elements from coming together. Whenever you can, avoid storing gas cans, propane tanks, or other flammable materials in your garage. This is especially true if you have any large appliances in your garage, such as a refrigerator. A better location for flammables would be an outdoor shed that is not close to the house and does not have any electrical appliances that could provide the heat necessary to start a fire.
Be careful with electricity
Electrical fires are extremely common in garages, so it is crucial that you practice safety when dealing with electricity. They are most commonly caused by overused electrical outlets, improper use of electrical outlets and extension cords, and damaged wires. Prevent an electrical fire by only plugging one appliance into an outlet, and never using extension cords for plugging in appliances. When you are using small electrical tools with 3-wire cords, only use 3-prong plug extension cords. Regularly check your wires for any damage as well.
Install proper safety equipment
A heat detector can make the difference between a small, manageable fire, and a full-fledged disaster. Install a smoke detector roughly eight feet above the floor. If your garage is attached to your home, place your smoke detector near the entrance into your home so it can be heard from inside. Additionally, make sure that the door that separates your house and garage has a fire safety rating of 20 minutes at minimum. Finally, also ensure that you have a fire extinguisher handy, as well as access to water, such as a garden hose, nearby. You may consider also installing a sprinkler system, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector in your garage.
If you are concerned with the safety of your garage door or garage door opener, Lifetime Garage Doors can help. We offer garage door repair, maintenance, and installation services in Tampa and Sarasota.