An unplanned fire anywhere is dangerous
Sometimes even deadly.
Every year, there are 6,600 garage fires in homes that result in a total loss of the structure.
- Store your flammable liquids in clearly labeled, self-closing containers, and only in small amounts. Keep them away from heaters, appliances, pilot lights and other sources of heat or flames. After using paint, stain, finishing oils or solvents, seal the containers and store them in a safe place. Preventing spontaneous combustion from occurring is as simple as practicing a little routine housekeeping.
- Never store propane tanks indoors. If they catch fire, they can explode. Propane tanks are sturdy enough to be stored outdoors or in a shed.
- Check the joints and open gaps around the door. Are they tightly sealed? Any openings at all, can allow dangerous fumes, such as carbon monoxide or gasoline vapor, to enter the living area.
- Never have heat vents in the garage fed by the home. Openings can allow dangerous fumes, such as carbon monoxide or gasoline vapor, to enter the living areas through the venting system.
- Do not install a pet door in the door! Flames can more easily spread into the living area through a pet door, especially if it’s made of plastic.
- The walkout door should be self-closing. While it may be inconvenient, especially while carrying groceries into the house from the car, doors should be self-closing.
- Electrical fires are common in a garage. Homeowner wiring can be hazardous. Have your electrical done by a professional, do not overload outlets.
- Install a fire detector and check its functioning at least once a month.
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The majority of fire deaths happen in the home. Residents of your community can benefit from a home fire safety inspection program. Home inspections provide an opportunity to inspect for fire safety issues in the home, provide measures to improve the safety of residents and increase fire safety and awareness outreach.
Fires in garages and home workshops are a serious matter. The typical garage or workshop contains a host of flammable materials, from liquids such as gasoline and paint thinner to wood, sawdust and greasy rags. Often, garages and workshops contain heat sources such as water heaters and furnaces that can ignite a fire.
Different types of fire extinguishers are available. You may want to keep different types of extinguishers in different parts of the house.
Look for extinguishers rated for use in more than one type of fire. Kitchen fire extinguishers are often classified as “B-C,” while extinguishers intended for living areas and garages are “A-B-C.”
In addition to the letters indicating class of fire, fire extinguishers have numbers before the letters.
The higher the number, the bigger the size of fire the extinguisher can handle. A 10-B:C extinguisher, for example, can handle a 25-square-foot fire and is ideal for most kitchens and living areas. A larger capacity would be suitable for a garage.
Class A: for ordinary combustibles (paper, wood, cloth)
Class B: for flammable liquids (gasoline, grease, oil)
Class C: for electrical equipment (appliances, tools)
Class D: for combustible metals (most often found in factories)
Class K: for cooking combustibles (vegetable and animal oils and fats; most often found in commercial kitchens)
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While you can perform many of the recommendations in this article yourself, it is a good idea to hire Black Hills Professional Home Inspections to make sure your home is safe from a garage fire. Fire prevention is the best way to prevent house and garage fires.
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