Everything You Need to Know About Garage Fire Prevention

Have you ever been concerned about a fire in your garage? This frightening thought doesn’t have to keep you up at night. Here is everything you need to know about garage fires and how to prevent them.

You like this look? This garage door is an Eastman E-21, 9' x 8', Moka Brown doors and Ice White overlays, 8 lite Panoramic windows.

This 9’ x 8’ Moka Brown Eastman E-21 features Ice White overlays with eight lite Panoramic windows.

There is a lot to know about protecting your garage from a fire. Knowledge is power, as they say, and considering that there are thousands of garage fires every year, it’s never a bad thing to answer the important question “How do I protect my garage from a fire?” We’re going to answer that question for you.

Today you’ll learn the causes of fires, how to handle a fire if it happens, and what you can do to prevent fires in your garage.

What Causes Garage Fires?

Knowing how to prevent a garage fire starts by knowing what causes them in the first place. The answer to “why do garages catch fire” is more complicated than you might think at first.

Garage fires can be extremely dangerous for both you and your property. It causes damage to your home, injuries to people or pets caught in the fire, loss of your belongings, and more. If your garage is attached to your house, it could mean a total loss of everything you own and very serious risks for your family. Being aware of what can cause a fire in the garage is a matter of important safety for every homeowner.

One positive thing to know is that most house fires do not start in the garage. But, because you don’t spend much time in your garage compared to other parts of your home, a fire here can go unnoticed and quickly get out of control.

Keep flames out of your garage for your safety. Image: Pixabay

Stay safe and avoid garage fires. Image from Pixabay

How Fires Start in the Garage

There are four ways that a fire can start in the garage most often.

● Propane Tanks Stored in the Garage

You should never store a propane tank in the garage, even if it is winter. Tanks could have small leaks or a faulty seal that could lead to disaster. Even a tiny spark in the air can ignite the leak and cause a true explosion. It’s best to store propane tanks away from your home or to not purchase tanks you need to store. Avoid an unexpected fire that can spread to your home by keeping these tanks out of the garage.

● Flammable Liquids Stored in the Garage

Something else that shouldn’t be kept in the garage is anything flammable. This can include gasoline, engine oil, or cleaning supplies. While these may not be dangerous to use or be around, they can be flammable with just a small spark. The liquid and the vapors the liquid releases can both be flammable. Keep any flammable liquids outside of the garage, in a shed, or other storage space, and be sure to label any bottles so you know they need to be put away.

● Too Many Items Stored in the Garage

Do you have a lot of clutter in your garage? Many people use their garage for storage, but it’s easy to let this space become packed with things that you don’t really need. “Out of sight, out of mind” clutter can be instant fuel for a fire should one start. It’s a good idea to declutter your garage regularly, throwing out things you don’t need, to avoid a spreading fire in the future. Donate items, or give them to others who need or want them.

● Issues with Electrical Malfunction in the Garage

The last reason that fires often start in garages is issues with electrical elements. If an outlet is faulty or overloaded, it can cause a spark that can set the garage on fire. If you need to use an extension cord in the garage, avoid using it for too long. Have a professional inspect your wiring if your home is older to ensure that it is in good working condition. If you have an electric garage door opener, store it in a regular wall socket.

How to Avoid Fire in the First Place

Now that you know the causes of garage fires, you’ll want to know prevention strategies to avoid them. The first and most important thing you can do is to put a fire alarm in your garage. The reason that garage fires can be so devastating is that they go unnoticed until it is too late. Protect your home and your garage with an alarm system that will alert you at the first sign of trouble.

Two other items to keep in your garage include a heat alarm and a fire extinguisher. Both of these can help prevent or stop a fire in its tracks.

Another important prevention strategy is to avoid starting fires in your garage at all. Don’t grill inside your garage or do anything that involves lighting a flame. The enclosed space is not suited for fire pits or other open flames.

If a fire does break out in your garage and you cannot put it out with the fire extinguisher, leave the area and call your fire department. Protect yourself first!

You like this look? This garage door is a Standard+ Shaker-Flat CC, 9' x 7', Black, Clear windows.

This lovely home features a Standard+ Shaker-Flat CC, 9' x 7', Black, Clear windows.

Four Tips for Dealing with Fire Damage

If you do, unfortunately, deal with a garage fire, try to take a calming breath. There are four things you need to do now to get through the aftermath.

1. Contact Your Insurance Company

The first thing to do is call your homeowner’s insurance company. Let them know that the garage caught on fire. Review your policy so that you get the right payout for your unique policy. If the loss was complete, the insurance company may settle by paying a lump sum for the value of the home and your possessions.

Avoid fire trucks rushing to your location. Image by Pixabay.

You don’t want to see one of these rushing to your home. Image from Pixabay

2. Contact an Inspector

The next step is to call a professional inspector. Even if the insurance company sends an inspector, you may wish to have someone that you have hired perform an independent inspection. This ensures that you get the true value of any damages or repairs quoted from a neutral third party. Inspectors will look at the exterior and interior of the house, as well as things like the heating system, the plumbing, and the roof.

3. Make the Next Decision

The next choice you have to make is whether you will rebuild the garage or repair it. Your insurance company may make this decision for you. Be aware that there will be costs for cleaning up any water damage, soot damage, and smoke damage. Your budget may determine if you choose to repair or rebuild.

4. Hire the Best Experts

Finally, you just need to search for experts near you to perform any cleanup, repair, or rebuilding. Choose an experienced contractor who has worked with fire damage and insurance companies before.

Replacing Your Garage Door

You like this look? This garage door is a Standard+ Classic MIX, 9' x 7', Desert Sand.

This is a gorgeous desert sand Standard+ Classic MIX, 9' x 7' garage door.

One of the decisions to make about the repairs for your garage is what kind of garage door you’ll want to have installed. You can choose a budget-friendly option that is the right size and consider if you want an attached or detached option.

If you aren’t sure what style you want, consider whether you need a one-car or a two-car garage. Look into the type of garage door opener you want as well. There are some amazing features such as two-way audio and cameras on openers these days.

Consider that the garage door can help improve the temperature in your garage and your home. A door that reflects light will keep the garage cooler. A door that withstands heavy wind will also help improve the garage’s temperature. Finally, consider what will look best on your home.

It’s Time to Install a Brand New Garage Door!

You like this look? This garage door is a Regal Shaker-Flat Long, 9' x 7', Black Ice, window layout: Left-side Harmony.

Do you like this beautiful contrast? The door is a Black Ice Regal Shaker-Flat Long, 9' x 7', with left-side harmony windows.

If you are ready to install a new garage door, contact a professional dealer near you today. The staff will be able to help you choose an option that looks great and gives you the features you want. You can also count on the staff to help you choose a budget-appropriate option for your needs.

At Charlie’s Overhead Door, the process is very simple. You can get an email quote right away. If you aren’t sure what your home’s style is, we can help! Look at 3 Styles to determine what type of garage door would be best for your home.

Contact us at 519-539-2988 so we can help you choose the best option for all your needs.

Don’t Forget About the App!

If you want to browse garage door styles and even custom design one for your home, check out the Design Centre app. You can upload images to “try out” looks on your garage right from your device.

There are many gorgeous garage doors to browse and gain inspiration from as you search for the right door for you.

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