Did you know that in the US, there are on average 6,600 residential garage fires every year? Each year, this results in 30 deaths, 400 injuries and over $457 million in property loss.
Here are some recommendations from the USFA (US Fire Administration) to help you avoid this happening to you, especially if your home has an attached garage.
- Whenever possible, do not store gas cans, propane tanks or any highly flammable products in the garage.
- If you have a shed at a distance from the house, store these items there.
- 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 having 3-wire cords (with a ground wire), only use extension cords with 3-prong plugs.
Some advice on building a garage
- Ensure that the door separating the garage from the house has a fire rating of at least 20 minutes.
- If you haven’t finished your garage yet, and especially 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.
- 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 smoke detector at a height of about 8 feet above the floor and near the access door to the house.
Following these useful tips will help you avoid many unpleasant situations. Fires that start in the garage are frequently of an electrical nature: damaged wires, improper use of electrical connections, and most often, overloaded electrical outlets.
If you have any doubts about the safety of your garage door opener, contact a garage door technician. They can respond to a service call in just a few hours. You can also send an online request for a quotation to them.