Garage Fires and How to Avoid Them

Garage Fires in Cincinnati and Dayton are more common than you may know. They don’t get the same news coverage as home or business fire occurrences so the tend to go under the radar. The truth is that many house fires begin in an attached garage and quickly spread to the living areas of the property. So it makes sense that limiting garage fires will also help limit the number of dangerous house fires.

The U.S. Fire Administration website states on its website that every year, there are 6,600 garage fires in homes that result in an average of:

  • 30 deaths.
  • 400 injuries.
  • $457 million in property loss.

Common Causes of Garage Fires

If we know what can likely cause a garage fire, we stand a good chance in preventing one. Over the past 25 years, Clarke Contractor’s fire damage restoration team has repaired and restored hundred and hundreds of garage fires and most of them could have been prevented.

Here are some common causes of garage fires…

  1. Electrical Issues
  2. Flammable Liquids / Chemicals
  3. Clutter

Electrical Issues Can Cause a Garage Fire

Homeowners tend to neglect electrical problems they may be experiencing in their garage. But old faulty electrical or overloaded outlets is a common cause for the start of a fire. Especially when there are flammables nearby.

How to avoid

Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis. Avoid chain linking surge protectors. Replace or repair any battery chargers that may not be functioning correctly. If you have a garage door opener, plug the power cord into an actual socket and avoid using an extension cord. If your home is more than 20 years old, you may want to have the wiring inspected by a licensed electrician.

Flammable Liquids Can Cause a Garage Fire

Most garages will have flammable liquids such as gasoline, paint thinner, oil, cleaning solutions, etc. The problem becomes when these fluids or fumes are exposed to a flame or spark. While the liquid itself is not inherently dangerous, it can be problematic if it were ignited by a spark or flame.

How to avoid

It is always best to store and secure these type of fluids in a separate location like a shed or storage area that protects it from ignition threats. It’s always a good idea to label the containers as flammable to help you remember to secure them to secure them. You can purchase flammable stickers here.

Excessive Clutter Can Cause a Garage Fire

For many, a garage is a storage area. Possessions that are not often used can pile up over the years. Often times there’s not even room for a car! The issue with all this stuff is it becomes clutter and clutter is fuel for fire. Clutter helps a fire spread quickly.

How to avoid

Well, for starters you can clean your garage! Collecting a pile of clutter is a common problem but it can feel really good to free yourself of stuff you don’t need. if you just can’t let some stuff go and you still have a good amount of items you need to keep, you should invest in some storage bins and shelving. You can label the containers making you more organized which will make you feel better. You will also be able to get to your stuff easier and best of all they will be less flammable.

Other Tips to Protect You From a Garage Fire

Knowing the common causes for garage fires can help you from having one but it still helps to have a couple extra easy measures in place just in case it happens.

  • If you have already purchased a fire extinguisher for your home, purchase another for your garage. It can help keep a fire from spreading out of control.
  • If you haven’t already, install a fire alarm in your garage. Test and make sure you can hear it from your house.

If you need help recovering from a garage or house fire, Clarke Contractors Inc. offer full services for fire damage restoration in Cincinnati and Dayton Ohio along with most of Northern Kentucky.