Fire Safety: Attached Garage Hazards
Home Inspection All Star created this article for two noble reasons. Firstly, we aim to educate homeowners about safety measures on how to keep the garage fire proof. In this article, you will discover that there are a number of ways on how you can guarantee that your garage, an equally integral part of the home, free from fire. Secondly, we would like to specify measures on how to stop the spread of fires, if and when it happens in your garage.
It is true that majority of the measures that we are about to enumerate in this article can be done by all by yourself, but it is highly recommend that you seek the expertise of a professional All Star home inspector to ensure that your home can be 100% free from the devastation caused by garage fires.
Why is a garage considered to be a potential fire hazard?
- The garage is the area of the home where car repair activities such as welding happen. In addition, the use of flammable substances usually occur in garage spaces too.
- Boilers, furnaces, and water heating systems are most commonly installed in the garage. In the event of an electrical problem such in relation to the use of these equipment, the garage is the first room in the house that suffer from fumes and smoke. Car batteries, under extremely hot temperatures, may spark and cause garage fires too.
- The leakage of petrol products from the cars may accumulate unknowingly in the garage, and may ignite under hot conditions.
- Flammable products and solutions such as paint, motor oil, and gasoline are typically stored in the garage. Other flammable materials that are typically stored in garages are lighter fluid, brake fluid, and paint thinner to name a few.
Here are some helpful and useful tips on how you can prevent garage fires and stop its spread as well:
- Install a hatch between the garage and attic, if there is direct access between these two areas inside the home.
- To ensure optimum protection from fires, make sure that walls and ceilings are fire-rated. Homeowners without knowledge whether their walls are outfitted with Type X fire-rated gypsum, should seek the expertise of HIAS inspector to confirm if the existing walls and ceilings feature the right level of fire barriers.
- Make sure that the garage floor is kept clean and free from clutter. Oily rags, loose papers, matches, and other flammable objects should be removed, as they can pose danger under favorable conditions.
- Never overload electrical outlets to prevent short circuit problems which may result in fire. In addition, install lightbulbs with the proper wattage only.
- It is ideal to organize electrical cords and wires to avoid twisting or accidental yanking which may result in sudden sparks and ignition.
If the garage is connected to a door leading to the main living quarters, consider doing the following tips:
- Never install a pet door in the door. Fires can spread fast into the rest of the home with the presence of a plastic-made door for pets.
- Does the door that connects the garage to the rest of the house feature windows. If so, it is best to verify with an expert home inspector if the window is made from a fire-rate material or otherwise.
- Make sure to install a self-closing door between the garage and the main house. Although this may be undeniably inconvenient especially when hauling groceries from a vehicle to the inside of the house, this feature is highly advantageous in the event of garage fires. When a garage fire breaks out, self-closing doors will automatically seal the garage, thus preventing the eventual spread of fire to the rest of the home.
- Check for open spaces and joints around the doors that connect to the garage. Make sure that spaces are sealed, as hazardous fumes with the likes of gasoline vapor and carbon monozide may possibly penetrate the living quarters as well. With the help and recommendations from an HIAS Inspector, you will find ways to create a tight door seal, so fumes would not enter the rest of the house.
In the case of items that are placed on the floor, here are things worth considering:
- Place small amounts of flammable solutions in containers with clear, self-closing containers. Keep them at a considerable distance from heating appliances or equipment such as pilot lights, open flames, and heaters.
- Never place propane tanks in home interior spaces. Propane tanks can explode if they catch fire. Lastly, propane tanks feature study qualities so they can be safely stored outdoors.
There are truly many ways and measures on how you can prevent the development of garage fires, as well as steps on how you can avoid its spread throughout the house. For more information on how you can keep the home safe and free from fires, it is ideal that the home be regularly checked by a certified professional from Home Inspection All Star.