Ellingwood Pro Safety Series: Attached Garage Fire Hazards

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When you think of a garage, what comes to mind? I think of storage space for all of the tools, a place to keep my car dry and warm in the winter, a place to store sports equipment, and even a place to put all the lawn and garden supplies needed to maintain the outside of the house. A garage is a luxury and many times a garage is even attached to a house. An attached garage makes it super convenient when parking your car in the garage and walking into your home. It is definitely nice to have your garage attached to the house when it is 20 degrees outside and you don’t have to worry about walking through the rain or snow to get into your house. The first word that comes to mind when thinking about a garage for most people is not FIRE. The downside of attached garages is that they can pose a huge fire hazard. It is very important to be sure to follow some safety tips for your attached garage to prevent a fire that can spread to your house.

Be Mindful of What You Keep in Your Garage

A garage is usually filled with tons of different flammable chemicals. It is very common for people to store and work on their car in their garage. Sometimes your car may leak oil or gasoline on the floor of the garage without you even knowing. It is not uncommon for people to keep extra gasoline for the lawnmower, some motor oil for the car, paint thinner for a project or even lighter fluid for the grill in the garage. Most of the highly flammable products are stored in the garage to keep them outside of the house. It is very important to make sure you pay close attention to what items are in your garage and be sure to store them properly. Make sure you check your garage floor for leaks of oil or gasoline and clean them up as soon as you notice them. If you have a shed or other area where you can store the more flammable items,  it may be safer to move them away from your home.

Make Sure the Garage is Clean

One thing to keep in mind when maintaining your garage is to ensure that it is clean at all times. For example, if you do some work on your car in your garage don’t throw the oily rags on the floor, clean them up immediately to prevent a future fire. Also, make sure you do not have tons of clutter in your garage. Clutter will just work as an accelerant for a fire and can just help a fire grow.

Electrical Safety 

Be sure to only use the correct wattage light bulbs. It can be very tempting to use a higher wattage light bulb for a brighter garage but this can be a massive fire hazard. Be sure to only use the proper wattage light bulbs. You also want to make sure that you are not overloading any of the electrical outlets in the garage. Make sure you check all electrical cords for fraying or signs of damage and replace them immediately to avoid a fire. In a garage with so many flammable items, a single spark can cause a huge fire. A light bulb or overloaded extension cord may seem like something very minor but when it is inside a garage it can cause a huge fire in a very short amount of time.

Check the Door Attached to the House 

To be precautious in the case of a fire in your garage it is important to check the door attaching the garage to the house and make sure it is safe. Make sure you do not have a pet door installed in this door. It can be very unsafe and can affect the integrity of the fire barrier. It is important to make sure your door is tightly sealed and fire-rated. It is also very safe to have a self-closing garage door. This can make a huge difference in the case of a fire.

Fires are very scary and very dangerous. Do your best to check over the areas in your garage to ensure you are being proactive to protect your home from an attached garage fire. If you are overwhelmed and have no idea what to look for regarding safety hazards in a garage or other areas in your home give Ellingwood Pro Home Inspections a call today and a certified home inspector can inspect your home for you and point out any hazards they find. Do not wait until you buy or sell a home to have a home inspection completed. Protect your home and schedule an inspection today.

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