Is your garage a firetrap?

By:   Kim Wiest

Did you know that in the US, there are on average 6,600 residential garage fires every year? According to the USFA (U.S. Fire Administration), this results in 30 deaths, 400 injuries and over $457 million in property loss per year. At Banko, we want to educate our customers on the importance of fire prevention in your garage. Follow these tips to help keep your garage a fire-free environment.

Avoid keeping the following materials in your garage

  • Whenever possible, do not store gas cans, propane tanks or any highly flammable products in the garage.
  • Try to store these items in a shed that is a decent distance from the house.
  • If you have any appliances in the garage, like a refrigerator, keep all flammable products away from them.
  • Only plug in one appliance per outlet.
  • Do not use extension cords to plug in electrical appliances, including a garage door opener.
  • For small electric tools, only use extension cords with 3-prong plugs.

When building your garage

  • Ensure that the door separating the garage from the house has a fire rating of at least 20 minutes.
  • If your garage is attached to your house and it has a bedroom above it, install gypsum board on the walls as well as the ceiling. Gypsum board is an excellent fire- resistive building material.
  • If you have built an attic over the garage, make sure you have installed an attic hatch cover and that it is kept closed at all times.
  • Install a heat alarm — not a smoke alarm — in your garage. The heat alarm will sound if the temperature rises too high.

Fires that start in the garage are frequently caused by one of the following issues electrical nature, damaged wires, improper use of electoral connections and overloaded electrical outlets. Following these useful tips will help you avoid the situation of a dangerous fire breaking out in your garage. For more tips on fire prevention and fire safety click here.

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