Unfortunately, garage fires are an all too common occurrence. Garage fires can also be the most violent as most garages contain a host of flammable materials such as gasoline, paint thinner, greasy rags, wood, and sawdust. Garages are also where heating sources such as water heaters and furnaces are often located. A lot of us often use our garages as workshops as well, and participate in activity that create sparks such as using electric saws or welding. So it is important to take safety precautions to help prevent garage fires. Here are a few ideas to help make your garage a safer place:
- When storing combustible liquids, try to keep them in small amounts and in a sealed, preferably fireproof, container.
Keep all flammable materials away from heating sources.
- Make sure the floor is clear of clutter such as paper or oily rags if you are doing work that may create sparks.
- Store propane tanks outdoors.
- Place a fire extinguisher in your garage in an easy to access spot.
- Equip your garage with a smoke detector. A carbon monoxide detector is also a good idea for safety.
- Consider having a sprinkler system installed if you often use your garage as a workshop.
- When cutting or sanding wood, sweep up any sawdust or wood chips immediately as these are often sources of garage fires.
- After using paint, oil, or solvents, make sure the lids are tightly sealed and store them in a safe place.
- Dispose of oily or gas soaked rags properly such as in a steel bucket with a tightly sealed lid and keep far from heat sources.
- Make sure you don’t have any exposed wires that could create a spark.