Your garage is a great place to store a lot of items, and it’s also a good place for various hobbies and projects that don’t fit neatly into the main part of the house. But you want to make sure that when you’re storing items in your garage or working with potentially dangerous materials, you’re taking the proper precautions to prevent an accidental fire.
Garage fires are surprisingly common, and can easily cause untold amounts of damage, or even spread to the main part of the house. Take a look at some of the precautions that you should take to make sure that your garage never goes up in smoke.
Remove Flammable Liquids
A garage is really not the best place to store leftover paint, lighter fluid for your grill, or gas for your lawnmower. There are just too many other things going on in your garage. Chances are that you have storage boxes in there, possibly including carboard boxes that could easily catch fire. Power tools, electronics, or even your car could provide the spark needed to turn a can of gasoline into a raging fire.
A better solution is to seal your flammable liquids and store them in a shed that’s separate from the main house, and ideally some distance away.
Make Sure Your Wiring is Safe
Overloaded electrical outlets are a common cause of fires in the garage. Whether you’re using power tools or converting your garage into a man-cave complete with a television and gaming system, it’s important to be sure that your wiring is up to the task of providing electricity for all your devices.
Have an electrician evaluate your wiring and ensure that your outlets are safe. Have more outlets added if you need more places to plug things in, rather than using extension cords and multi-outlet adapters. Don’t leave items charging on an extension cord, and limit yourself to one charging appliance per outlet.
Establish Safe Habits For Your Hobbies
Welding, mechanical work, and woodwork can all result in fire hazards if not handled appropriately. You can practice these hobbies safely if you take the time to establish safe habits around your hobbies.
Make sure that you use the appropriate safety equipment when working with anything that can produce sparks. Keep your workspace clean and free of tripping hazards. Make sure to clean up thoroughly when you’re putting your tools away as well. Things like wood chips and sawdust catch fire more easily than big blocks of wood, so sweeping and throwing away waste can reduce the risk of a fire.
Add Fireproof Features to Your Garage
An older garage door may not have the same fire rating as a newer door. You may want to replace your old garage door with one that’s up to modern standards. Look for doors with fireproof features like heat-resistant materials, a fire-resistant core, and a protective resin coating.
You can reinforce your garage walls and ceiling by adding gypsum board to any part of the garage or ceiling that connects to the main home, which will minimize the possibility of a fire in the garage reaching the house. You should also make sure that you have a fire extinguisher and heat alarm in your garage.
Part of good garage design is making sure that the space is safe as well as functional. For more great garage design ideas, schedule your free design consultation.