We don’t often think about it, but a garage is an incredible safety hazard. Even if your garage door itself is in good condition and repair, the garage can be a fire hazard if things are not clean and organized properly. We often use our garages to store fuel, dangerous flammable chemicals, or have piled trash such as stacks of newspaper, clothes, or other flammable materials. It’s no wonder that garages are the one place in a home most prone to fire.
But by taking a well organized approach with your garage, you can eliminate the fire hazard. Here’s what you can do to organize and fire proof your garage.
4 Potential Causes of a Garage Fire
1) Electrical Problems
Per the USFA, electrical malfunctions are the number one cause of garage fires. This could be caused by old faulty electrical circuits or overloading electrical outlets.
Solution: Don’t use extension cords on a permanent basis. Keep your garage door opener plugged into an actual socket and avoid the use of daisy-chained surge protectors. If you live in an older home, you may wish to hire an electrician to inspect your wiring.
A garage can be a great place to store your belongings. Let’s face it – we’ve all collected many things over the years and sometimes the best place to put something is your garage! But there’s one serious problem when it comes to clutter – it allows a fire to spread quicker and easier.
Solution: Declutter your garage! We tend to attach ourselves to old belongings and “hoard” unnecessary things. Letting go of your stuff can be a real freeing experience. So, get started with your garage!
3) Flammable Liquids
Flammable liquids like oil, cleaning solutions and gasoline are all commonly stored in the garage. While the liquid itself is not inherently dangerous, it can be problematic if it were ignited by a spark or flame. Remember – the vapor coming off the liquids can also be flammable.
Solution: Try to store your flammable liquids away from your home or in a shed.
4) Propane Tanks
Just because it’s not grilling season yet doesn’t mean you can store your propane tanks in your garage until then. If the propane tank wasn’t sealed properly or is leaking, a small spark could ignite the air with disastrous results.
Solution: Propane tanks have been known to burn down homes. Don’t store them in your garage. If you have nowhere else to store them, you may want to consider not purchasing extra tanks.
Other Ways You Can Keep Your Garage Fire Free
One of the best ways to avoid a fire is taking the necessary steps to prevent one in the first place. But even so, it helps to have a few other measures in place should a fire start in your garage.
Garage fires are known to get out of hand quickly. And because they’re in the garage, they’re often not caught until it’s already too late.
Two great ways you can protect your garage and home from a fire:
– Always keep a fire extinguisher somewhere in your home or garage.
– Install a heart alarm in your garage. Certain garage door openers may have this feature already.
Lastly, remember, nothing is more important than your life. In the event of a fire that can’t be contained, get out quickly and call 911.