The garage on many homes is the area you put things that you do not have any other use for at the moment. It is where you store things like gas for the lawnmower and extra paint from a project. Yet, it is also one of the highest risk areas in your home for fires. These fires can be devastating. Yet, most homeowners have no idea what steps to take to minimize these types of risks. What steps can you take?
Know the Risks of Garage Fires
The U.S. Fire Administration and National Fire Data Center provides some key facts. Each year, there are 6,600 garage fires in U.S. homes. These cause 30 deaths and 400 injuries on average. They also amount to $457 million in property loss for property owners.
Considering this, it’s a real risk for any individual in any community across the country. While your home insurance may cover some of these losses, it’s still essential for you to know how to prevent this in the first place.
Store Fuels Away from the Home
It is never ideal to store fuels of any type in the garage. This is especially important if you store your vehicle here as well. Garages attached to homes can easily catch on fire, spreading the risks to the home itself. If possible, minimize any fuel storage. Place these items in a detached shed instead.
Keep Equipment Unplugged In Your Garage
It’s also important to minimize the risk of electrical fires. To do this, only keep equipment plugged in when you are using it. Make it a habit to unplug and move items away from electrical outlets. Also, avoid storing equipment or flammable items in front of electrical outlets.
Keep Your Garage Clutter-Free
Don’t allow your garage to have a buildup of materials, especially flammable items like paper and packaging materials. It is best to minimize the extra items in these areas. You will need walking room and a workspace, after all. When a garage has a lot of material in it, it is more likely to create a bigger fire risk.
Minimize the Storage of Flammable Materials Overall
The biggest risks include:
- Motor oil
- Aerosol spray cans
- Gas cans
- Lighter fluid
By moving these items to detached areas, you can cut the homeowner’s insurance risk to your property. This can also help to protect your life and that of your family.
FAQ’s About How to Make Your Garage Safer
Why is it important to make my garage safer?
Making your garage safer helps prevent accidents, protects your belongings, and enhances overall home security.
What are some common garage safety hazards?
Common garage safety hazards include clutter, poor lighting, faulty electrical systems, and improper storage of hazardous materials.
How can I improve garage lighting for safety?
You can improve garage lighting by installing bright LED fixtures, adding motion-sensor lights, and ensuring all areas are well-lit.
What are some tips for organizing a safer garage?
Organize your garage by decluttering regularly, using shelves and storage bins, and keeping walkways clear to minimize tripping hazards.
How can I childproof my garage?
Childproof your garage by securing hazardous materials, installing locks on cabinets, and keeping tools and sharp objects out of reach.
Are there specific safety measures for garage doors?
Yes, you should regularly inspect and maintain garage door mechanisms, ensure safety sensors are functioning, and never leave the door partially open.
What fire safety precautions should I take in the garage?
Install a smoke detector, store flammable materials in a designated area, and keep a fire extinguisher easily accessible.
How can I secure my garage against intruders?
Secure your garage by installing a sturdy door and reliable locks, covering windows for privacy, and considering a security system.
What should I do about garage floor safety?
Keep the garage floor clean and free of oil spills, use slip-resistant coatings, and consider adding rubber mats for traction.
Are there any electrical safety tips for the garage?
Ensure all electrical outlets and wiring are up to code, use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), and never overload circuits with too many appliances or tools.