When you think about fire prevention in your home you may or may not immediately think about your garage. Oftentimes, we go right to the basics, kitchen and electrical, seasonal and outdated elements top that list. The old Christmas tree on the side of the house 6 months later, that relic of a dryer that has seen better days and reminds you of that EVERYTIME you turn it on. And while these things are reasonably the “go to” , your garage is an area that needs clear and constant attention when it comes to fire safety and prevention.
Your garage can be a dangerous place when it comes to fires. Flammable chemicals, gasoline, oil, and other combustible materials can easily ignite and cause a blaze that can quickly spread into and throughout your home. It’s essential to be aware and take steps to fireproof your garage and keep your property safe. Here are some things to consider:
Store Flammable Liquids in Safe Containers
A leading cause of garage fires is improperly stored flammable liquids. Gasoline, oil, paint thinner, and other similar materials should be stored in UL-approved containers made specifically for their storage. Keep the containers tightly sealed when not in use and away from any heat sources. These items can start to collect rapidly especially after a long run of quick DIY projects that find your space stacked with the remnants of those projects.
Install a Fire-Resistant Garage Door
Your garage door is the largest entrance to your garage and can also be the most vulnerable. Fire-resistant garage doors made of steel or other materials can prevent a fire from spreading outside the garage. Consider upgrading to a door with a fire rating of at least 20 minutes.
Install a Smoke Detector
A seemingly odd choice in an odd place but a smoke detector in your garage can alert you to a fire before it gets out of control. Make sure the detector is wired directly to your home’s electrical system and has a battery backup in case of a power outage. And just like the interior detectors, check the batteries regularly to ensure they are functioning correctly.
Keep Your Garage Clean and Organized
It’s an ongoing task and a source of anxiety for most but.. a cluttered garage can create the perfect environment for a fire to start and spread quickly. Keep your garage clean, organized, and free of debris. Sweep regularly and remove any combustible materials that you don’t need. A basic, on-going version of this can eliminate the major “Spring Cleaning” weekend version of this.
Install Fire-Resistant Drywall
Fire-resistant drywall can help contain a fire and prevent it from spreading to other parts of your home. Consider installing this type of drywall on the walls and ceiling of your garage to provide additional protection.
Use Fire-Resistant Insulation
Insulation is essential for regulating the temperature in your garage, but it can also be a fire hazard. Use fire-resistant insulation to prevent a fire from starting or spreading if one occurs.
Install Fire-Rated Doors
If your garage has an entrance into your home, it’s crucial to install a fire-rated door. This type of door can prevent a fire from spreading from the garage into your home and give you more time to escape.
While no one task or no one home is likely going to be fully fireproof, these tasks will take your home a long way toward that level of safety. Protecting your garage from fires requires taking preventative measures and being mindful of potential hazards. By following these tips and taking the necessary precautions, you can reduce the risk of a fire and keep your family and property safe.