Keeping your home safe from fires is something that every homeowner should aim to do. Even if you aren’t a homeowner and lease a house or an apartment, this is something that you should think very seriously about. Fires can impact the health and safety of your family and your neighbors. Even with no one around, some of your valuables are simply irreplaceable.
As you tackle fire safety in your home, you must focus primarily on the garage. If you have a garage in your dwelling, this space runs a higher risk of fire hazards than any other room in the house. Use this list of safety precautions that can prevent a fire in your garage to protect your house and even your neighborhood.
Inspect and Upgrade
Everyone who owns a home has storage areas where they keep their appliances and tools. For those who do have garages, this room often becomes the go-to space for any and everything.
You likely don’t just park your vehicles in your garage. Many people keep all their heavy-duty equipment, chemicals, fuel, and anything they might consider outdoor-related in the garage.
It’s also typical to store all things electrical and petroleum-fueled in the garage because there isn’t a better place to put them where you can lock them up and keep them safe.
If you store many of these hazardous materials in the garage, it’s essential to inspect the containers and ensure nothing is leaking, rusting, or expiring. You may also want to upgrade security around these objects to ensure that the rest of your property is safe, even if leaks do occur.
Keep Your Garage Tidy
Some people meticulously organize their garages, and others just pile their things in the next best place where there’s space available. These two people are on entirely different sides of the safety spectrum, which is why it’s vital to address the proper way to keep things stored in the garage. The first thing to be aware of is spacing.
There should be designated spaces for things like heavy equipment and power tools, just as there should for chemicals and fuels. Organizers and cabinets do an excellent job at keeping all these things separated from one another to not create too much of a mess.
If there is anything lying around that could present a hazard, it might be wise to get rid of it and replace it whenever you can. Ensuring everything is in good condition could prevent explosions and unnecessary fires in the garage and home.
Safely Use and Maintain Doors
Safety should always be the top priority, especially when keeping something like a garage in order. Make sure that all your garage mechanics work properly. This precaution applies to everything, from the automated electrical garage door system to the locks on the doors. If you know that they are all in working condition, you will also know that you have a sure way in and out of the house should a fire occur.
Once you’ve observed it for a while, you can get a decent idea of how the mechanics work so that you can tackle repairs in case things break down on you. If you have roll-up steel commercial doors, these are mostly fire-proof and can quickly shut to prevent any excess air from fueling the fire in the meantime.
Invest in Heat Alarms
Not everyone has heat alarms, but most people are aware of the importance of smoke alarms as a life-saving measure. Of all the places these two alarms belong, the garage sits at the top of the list, yet often goes forgotten.
So, if you don’t have one or the other, you should highly consider having both installed in your garage as a safety precaution in the event of a fire. If you have the alarms installed already or are thinking about having them installed, conduct monthly inspections to ensure that the batteries are functioning properly.
Secure Attic Hatches
Some people have access to their attics from their garages. If you are a homeowner or someone leasing your home and have a hatch in your garage, you need to make sure to seal it.
This action will prevent any fire or smoke from getting to the attic and causing your whole property to burn faster. Failing to secure attic hatches can also cause smoke to enter the air ducts and suffocate those in the household.
Know Your Walls’ Fire Ratings
In any dwelling situation, it’s important to know the fire rating of all ceilings and walls. This rating tells the homeowners and inspectors that the property has a certain level of susceptibility to or protection from fire.
Although most modern homes use similar materials, this rating depends on what materials homebuilders used when constructing the property. If your property is up-to-code, it likely uses fire-rated walls already.
Keep Floors Clean
By keeping your floors free and clear of clutter, you minimize the fire hazard that could become a burning home. Things should never be lying around randomly on the garage floor.
Unclear walkways and a cluttered floor increase the potential for a fire breaking out and the likelihood of other things piling up over time, which just adds more fuel to the fire. So, make sure that everything has a place and that the garage floor remains organized to prevent these fire hazards and create clear, easy paths.
Use Proper Wattages
When using electrical devices, especially lighting, make sure that all the wattages match up. If you’re using bulbs that require more wattage than what matches the outlet, you’re pulling more energy from the home’s electrical server, which could cause a fire.
Be careful about your devices. Make sure not to leave anything on for too long and regularly check outlet coverings for cracks, damage, or heat.
There are many safety precautions that can prevent a fire in your garage. Look out for any issues like these and address problem areas in your garage to keep yourself, your family, and your property safe.