While the leading cause of garage fires involves electrical malfunctions, certain other hazards lurk in the garage that can be just as dangerous. It’s important to take certain precautionary steps to ensure that your garage is as fire-proof as possible. Keep your home and family safe by sticking to the following guidelines:
1)Store fuel, chemicals, and other flammable items in a place outside of your home, like a tool shed. Keeping them out of the house significantly reduces the potential fires that could happen. Make sure that your tool shed is locked so children don’t stumble their way inside.
2)Install a heat alarm in the garage that will warn of dangerous temperatures. Should it ring, you’ll be able to evacuate your family outside of your home as soon as possible.
3)Keep a fire extinguisher in your garage in case of emergency.
4) Be careful not to use too many extension cords and shut off appliances that are no longer in use. Many homeowners have been converting their garages into mini-kitchens. While it’s hard to unplug fridges (after all, no one wants spoiled milk or warm beer), make it a point to unplug the microwaves, ovens, and even TVs that might be in your garage.
5) Clean your garage! Objects like matches, lighters, dirty towels and rags, and other objects that could be potentially flammable should be removed as soon as they’re done being used. Clearing up clutter can also help ease your escape in the case that there is a fire in the garage.
In addition to the above steps, take appropriate measures to ensure your garage can be easily exited in the event of an emergency. Plan out worst case scenarios ahead of time. For example, if you have a broken garage door spring and can no longer open the garage door, how would you exit safely? Continue to perform routine maintenance and never hesitate to contact an expert if you don’t understand something. As for fire prevention, we recommend discussing these plans with your family and performing quarterly safety drills in order to get everyone prepared and on the same page.