Due to the nature of the things we fill our garages with, there is always a possibility that a fire could start and end up causing a lot of damage. Appliances, flammable liquids and even cars all hold the potential to start a spark, so we need to be careful.
To best protect your home, we’ve come up with a few different ways that you can help prevent a fire from spreading inside your garage.
Do Not Store Flammable Materials
The first step to making your garage as fireproof as possible is to get rid or re-home any flammable materials that pose a potential risk.
This includes any lighter fluid, tins of paint, aerosol cans or anything that contains gas. All of these are highly flammable and keeping them in your garage is only adding to the risk of a fire starting. Other areas of concern are items such as any paper or cardboard, boxes of photos and clothing, all of which would easily get destroyed in the wake of a fire spreading.
A more suitable location for these common home items is a garden shed or container unit in your backyard or in the attic for the photos and clothes. Keeping them far away from the garage will reduce the risk of fire greatly, and it’s not exactly a long walk to go and get them if you need them.
If you’re planing on storing these kinds of flammable materials and liquids in the garage, then store then in tightly closed containers and keep that away from anything that could potentially start a fire. You can never be too careful when it comes to fire safety.
Check All Electrical Outlets
A very common cause for household fires is thanks to defective or damaged plug sockets.
Over the years, the plug sockets and electrical outlets of our homes go through a lot, and you can imagine that the ones in the garage are subject to the most amount of heavy use. In an environment like a garage, the sockets can often be knocked into or heavy items pushed into them, so they have seen their fair share of damage.
A faulty plug socket is a recipe for disaster and it’s only a matter of time before it causes an accident. It’s crucial that the minute you notice something different, you stop using it and get a specialist to take a look at it. It might be a good idea to get an electrician to come and assess your plug sockets every few years, just to be on the safe side.
It’s also important to make sure that you do not overload your outlets. Using multiple extension cords to power your appliances may seem ideal, but it will lead to the cords overheating and could result in a fire.
Install Fire Alarms
It should go without saying, but installing smoke alarms in your garage is a guarantee that should a fire start, you’ll be able to deal with it quickly and swiftly.
You can never underestimate how quickly fire can spread once it’s started, so having a way of detecting it early on is crucial for protecting the contents of your garage. Smoke alarms will usually make you aware of the fire sooner than heat alarms, letting out a loud siren as soon as a bit of smoke is detected.
When a fire is spreading, every second counts so your home shouldn’t be without a smoke detector.
Check All Equipment
One of the other common reasons for fires starting in garages is down the use of faulty tools or equipment.
A lot of people use their garages to work on their cars or for DIY, so naturally there will be a good amount of tools and equipment lying around. We know that this kind of equipment is exactly cheap either, so forking out for a replacement isn’t exactly at the top of our priority list.
However, working with faulty equipment that is not up to scratch will naturally lead to it backfiring and sparks flying everywhere. It may hurt your wallet a little, but it’s not worth risking your life over.
Keep It Clean
The key to a safe garage is a clean garage.
If you use your garage for DIY, leaving wood clippings on the floor are a fire hazard and can help fire spread. Bits of paper left around or old rags left on the floor are also common fire hazard offenders, so just pick them up.
Having a messy garage filled with clutter naturally presents itself as a not only a fire hazard but a tripping hazard. Items should be tidied away neatly and kept off the floor where possible. If a fire breaks out and you’re clambering trying to get over boxes or things lying around on the floor, then the results could be disastrous.
Keeping a clean garage is good practise and will not only present less of a fire hazard, but will allow you to move freely through the room and use it to its advantage.
It may sound obvious, but in order to be most prepared for a potential fire then you need to have a fire extinguisher on hand.
Having a fire extinguisher and/or fire blanket on hand when a fire erupts will prove to be very handy, and could be the difference between saving a life and losing everything. If you know that you use your garage for working on cars, DIY with lots of tools and equipment or even a man cave with lots of electrical use, a fire extinguisher is crucial.
Fire extinguishers do not cost much, and the cost is definitely worth the amount you could save from protecting your garage against potential fires.
While there is never a way to 100% fireproof your garage, these tips should go a long way in helping you to prevent them from spreading. Working safe and being prepared will make sure that the contents of your garage are protected.
When it comes to fire safety, be smart about it. If the fire is beyond your control, do not try and engage and call 999. If you’ve got any other tips for garage fire prevention, please let us know!