Residential garage fires, which occur more often in winter, cause more injuries and financial losses per fire than other home fires. The reason is that garage fires tend to spread faster than fires which start in another area of a home. The good news is that garage fires can be largely prevented by taking a few safety measures. These tips will help property owners learn how to prevent garage fires:
1. Since electrical malfunction is the leading cause of garage fires, electrical appliances and tools should be used carefully.
- When powering or charging appliances, the appliances should be plugged directly into a wall socket.
- Only one charging appliance or major appliance should be plugged in a socket at a time.
2. Flammable substances, such as paints, gasoline, oil or varnishes should be stored outside the garage and home, preferably in a shed.
3. Items that can catch fire must be kept on high shelves and away from appliances that produce heat.
4. A heat alarm should be installed in the garage instead of a smoke alarm. Heat alarms will sound when they detect dangerously high temperatures. The alarm should be interconnected with the rest of the alarms in the home.
5. Gasoline containers should not be filled inside the garage, but in an outdoor area. Gasoline should be poured carefully to avoid spills. Spills can be soaked up with saw dust or cat litter.
6. Carpets, rugs, non-fire-retardant tarps or cardboard should not be used on the garage floor, as these may absorb flammable liquids and cause a fire.
7. Construction-related fire-proofing tips to consider:
- Installing a ½-inch gypsum board wall if the wall connects the garage to the home.
- Installing a ⅝-inch Type X gypsum board ceiling if there is living space above the garage.
- Installing a self-closing and self-latching 20-minute fire-rated door that connects the garage to the house.
- Installing an attic hatch cover if there is attic access from the garage.
Additional electrical safety tips for homes and properties are available in this article. Those who are doing outdoor work using electrical tools are encouraged to follow these outdoor electrical safety tips. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.
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