How to Prevent Fires in Your Garage

Have you ever wondered, if garage fires are common? Find the answer below and keep your home safe.

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.

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

There’s a lot that goes into the answer to “How do I protect my garage from fire?” But it’s an important question. There are thousands of garage fires every year, leading to millions in property loss, hundreds of injuries, and even a few deaths.

Today we’re going to be focusing on ways to keep your garage safe to prevent fires. We’ll go over the causes of fires, how to handle a fire, and what to do if a fire happens.

The Most Common Causes of Garage Fires

Before we can delve into how to prevent fires in your garage, you need to have an answer to another question. Why do garages catch fire? The truth is that the answer is more complex than you might expect.

A garage fire can be seriously dangerous. It can cause injuries, destroy property, and more. For those with attached garages, it can lead to the entire home catching fire. Being cautious to avoid these issues is important for any homeowner.

Do most house fires start in the garage? No. But the ones that do happen tend to get out of control since the garage is less frequented than other spaces.

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

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

How Do Fires Start in Garages?

There are several causes of garage fires, but 4 are the most common. Read on to learn what causes fires so you can make sure you prevent them in your own garage.

  • Propane Tanks

    Even if it isn’t grilling season, you shouldn’t store your propane tanks inside. If the tank leaks or wasn’t sealed well, it could be disastrous. A small spark can ignite with the air and cause an explosion.

    Fire officials recommend not storing these tanks in the garage for your safety. Instead, find another storage space or purchase fewer tanks. That way, you will avoid an unexpected explosion in your garage that can be disastrous for your home too.

  • Flammable Liquids

    Items like gasoline, oil, and cleaning solutions are often left in the garage. These liquids aren’t always dangerous, but they can ignite through a flame or a spark. In addition, the vapor from the liquid may catch fire.

    Keep these liquids in a shed or another safe space. All flammable liquids should be contained and labeled.

  • Clutter

    Garages often act as a place to store tons of junk. As a result, they can become packed quickly with things you don’t want to throw out. However, the more clutter you have, the quicker a fire can spread.

    Decluttering can help avoid this issue. You can donate, throw things away, or gift old items to people who would appreciate them.

  • Electrical Issues

    One of the most common causes of garage fires is an electrical malfunction. Fires can occur because of overloaded electrical outlets or faulty old electrical circuits.

    Avoid using extension cords for long periods. Keep the garage door opener in a regular wall socket. For older homes, you may wish to have a professional inspect your wiring for issues.

What to Do to Avoid Fire

The best way to avoid fires is by prevention strategies. However, it’s also a good idea to know what to do if one does break out. These fires often spread fast and create more injuries than other home fires.

Should you put a smoke alarm in your garage? Yes! Two other ways to protect your home and garage include:

  • Installing a heat alarm in the garage if your garage door opener doesn’t have one.
  • Making sure you have a fire extinguisher located somewhere in the garage or the rest of your home.

Another common question we get is, can you light a fire in a garage? We recommend avoiding this process. Any flame can lead to a fire. It’s especially recommended to avoid using a fire pit in an enclosed space like a garage.

Be safe when you deal with a fire. If the flames can’t be controlled, leave the area and call local emergency services.

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

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

4 Key Steps for Homeowners Dealing with Fire Damage

If your garage experiences a fire and you need to deal with the aftermath, there are several steps you should take. First, take a breath and relax as much as you can so you can calmly take these steps.

1. Contact the Insurance Company

If your home is insured, reach out quickly to let them know a fire has occurred. Make sure you know what your insurance covers to get a fair payment. Every policy is unique, so this will affect what else you do.

Most policies will cover the home value before the fire. However, if the loss is complete, the insurance company might settle by paying the policy amount for the house and whatever items were inside during the fire.

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

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

2. Get a Professional Inspection

Your insurance company may have an adjuster inspect the home after a fire. Unfortunately, this isn’t always enough. They often make decisions that are best for the company and not for you. Hiring a professional of your own can give you answers about the cost of repairs.

The inspection should look at the interior walls, structure, framing, roof, heating systems, siding, plumbing, and stucco or concrete.

3. Decide Whether to Repair or Rebuild

After an inspection, you can decide whether to repair or take down the garage and rebuild it. The insurance policy may limit your options. Make sure to be aware of the cleanup process and price for everything from water damage and cleanup to soot removal and cleanup, and smoke damage restoration.

4. Hire the Best Local Expert

After you make the decisions you need to, make sure you research your options when choosing a contractor. This person should be experienced with the work and dealing with insurance companies.

The Process to Replace a Garage Door

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

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

Suppose you need to rebuild your garage. One of the decisions you will need to make is what kind of garage door to install. Then you can choose the best option by considering your budget, the size of the door you want, and whether you want an attached or a detached option.

Not sure? Learn more about your options in terms of choosing a one car or a two-car garage. You should also research your options for the garage door opener you’d like to use. Some of them come with great features like two-way audio and cameras.

To keep your garage space at a comfortable temperature, here are two important factors to look at during the shopping process for your garage door:

  • How well does the door reflect light? The better the garage door reflects light, the cooler it will keep your garage when the sun shines on it in the summer.
  • Is the door construction made to stop the wind? Ask questions of the garage door professional you will work with. You certainly don’t want to hear the wind howling through your garage door.

It all comes down to your budget and style, as well as what looks best on your home.

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.

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

Then contact a GARAGA dealer in your area.

They are indeed experts in garage doors. They have extensive experience, and they love helping you find the perfect garage door system at the right plus for you.

Find the door of your dreams already? Ask us for a quotation by email.

You’d like to shop online a bit first?

You can browse our residential photo gallery. Do you like interactive design apps? If so, grab your smartphone and try our Design Centre. You’ll have fun building your dream door.

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