Every home fire is dangerous, destruction and can be life-threatening. Garage fires can be the worst. They may not be discovered as quickly as a fire inside the house; materials in the garage can add to the intensity of the fire or even cause an explosion.
Here are 8 Things To Do To Make Your Garage More Fire Proof.
- Are You Storing Flammable Liquids in the Garage? Take inventory. That gas can with the gas and oil mixture for the lawn mower – the can of paint – oil for the car, they’re all very flammable. They’re all better off in a detached shed, but if that’s not possible keep them only in very small amounts. Make sure they’re clearly labeled and stored away from any appliance, heater, pilot light or any other source of flame or heat.
- What About that Propane Tank? It doesn’t belong in the garage at all. If you wheel the BBQ into the garage after you use it, detach the propane tank and don’t bring it in. Have an extra tank? It doesn’t belong in the garage. First, propane tanks will do quite well out in the backyard. They’re sturdy enough to withstand weather. Left in the garage they are a real hazard. Propane is extremely combustible and if a propane tank is involved in a garage fire, it can explode and cause damage, injury and, possibly, death.
- A Little Spill? First, figure out what it is and if it is flammable. Don’t just leave. Fine the source; stop the leak and clean up the spill. Keep the floor clear of clutter – loose paper, oily rags and other potential fire starters don’t belong on the garage floor.
- Check Electrical Connections. Have you run an extension cord to your workbench? Don’t overload outlets and be sure to clean spider webs, dirt and debris off wires and light fixtures so they don’t interfere with the electrical system.
- Pay Attention to the Door into the Home. This is the one place you want to make sure you have a fire door – they come rated to withstand heat and flames for up to 20 minutes. If your door has a window, see if it is fire rated. Put a self-closing fixture on the door. It’s not handy when you’re carrying in the groceries or taking the Christmas decorations out, but it sure beats an open door if a fire should start.
- No Pet Door. The door into your home should not have a pet door. The dog and cat can come through and that’s convenient, but remember a fire can come through that opening, too.
- Get Out the Tape. Tape down all cords and wires so they are not twisted or pulled. You want safe electrical connections in your garage.
- Keep it Clean. Not only does a mess add fuel to a fire; it makes it difficult for you to spot potential problems. One of the easiest and best deterrents to a garage fire is to keep it clean.
You want your garage to do its job and keep you, your family, your home and your car safe. Make it as fireproof as possible and don’t forget to have the garage door inspected annually to make sure that all the parts under tension are in good shape and that everything is working properly – and safely!