Many homeowners take home fire prevention seriously, yet they have their fair share of garage fire hazards without even realizing it.
Your home is equipped with fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, but most garages are left unprotected. This lack of safety equipment, along with many of the hazardous items commonly stored in garages, make your garage a prime place for a fire to start.
There’s an average of 6,600 home garage fires every year in the U.S., resulting in over $457 million of property loss. Here’s a look at some of the most common fire hazards in home garages and what you can do to fix them.
Hazard: Electrical Malfunction
According to the United States Fire Administration, electrical malfunction is the leading cause of garage fires across the nation. Garage fires can result from faulty wiring, electrical shorts, and overloaded electrical outlets.
Solution: Don’t Use Extension Cords Regularly
Extension cords are great for temporary uses, but avoid using them regularly. Garage door openers, freezers, and other appliances should be plugged directly into a wall outlet to avoid overloading sockets. It’s also important to have an electrician inspect your wiring to ensure everything is safe and up to code, especially if you live in an older home.
Hazard: Flammable Materials
Gasoline, oil, propane, fertilizer, untreated wood, and other highly flammable materials are common garage fire hazards. Propane, in particular, presents a serious fire hazard, especially if your propane tank has a leak. A small spark could send your entire garage, and consequently your home, up in flames.
Solution: Don’t Store Propane or Gasoline in Your Garage
Propane should never be stored indoors. Keep it outdoors by your grill, and avoid purchasing extra tanks for storage. Gasoline and other flammable liquids are also best stored in a shed or another location away from your home. Even if these items aren’t the cause of a fire, they can cause it to spread much more quickly.
The garage is an easy place to store things so that they don’t clutter up your home, but excessive stuff in the garage can be an extreme fire hazard. Stacks of newspapers, cardboard boxes, and cans of paint and varnish all make ideal kindling for a fire.
Solution: Throw Things Away
Get out the garbage cans and get to work decluttering that garage. Throw away things that you no longer need, and consider storing things in a more organized manner in storage bins rather than cardboard boxes.
Black Diamond Water Damage & Disaster Restoration Is Here
Garage fire hazards are a real concern and should be taken seriously. But if you do experience a fire in your garage or home, Black Diamond Water Damage & Disaster Restoration is here to help. Our team of highly trained professionals is experienced in fire damage restoration and can handle everything from smoke to structural damage and everything in between. We offer 24/7 emergency services to clients in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to get started!