This week, we’re talking about garage fire safety– According to the US Fire Administration, there are more than 6,000 home garage fires every year. Aside from the damage to homes ($457 million in property loss), these fires have resulted in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries. The worst part about this scenario is that home garage fires are preventable.
You are in control of garage fire safety!
The USFA reports that, more often than not, the source of home garage fires is electrical malfunction, usually a wire shorting out, unseen damaged wires, or the overloading of an electrical outlet. Freak accidents do sometimes happen, but there are other things you can do to ensure the safety of your home garage. Start by taking a look at those electrical outlets. Is it necessary for every outlet to be in use at once? Try charging just one appliance at a time, and leave appliances that aren’t in use unplugged. Never use an extension cord when charging an appliance, USFA advises.
Whenever possible, find a place other than your home garage to store oil, gasoline, paints, propane and varnishes. If they must be stored in the garage, make sure any flammable items are kept on garage shelves or in cabinets, and nowhere near major appliances. Items like gasoline or other flammable liquids should never be stored near the gas source of the hot water heater.
For added peace of mind, consider installing a heat alarm — not the same thing as a smoke alarm — in your garage. A heat alarm will sound if the temperature rises too high, alerting you and your family to a potentially dangerous situation.