Garage Safety

Garage Safety

Essential Garage Safety Tips

A garage is a functional area of the home, yet is often overlooked when it comes to organization and safety. This garage has many hazards. Can you identify them? Better yet, can you make the garage a safer, more useful space?

Electricity and malfunctions:  most common problem and cause of a fire in a garage

  • If your electrical panel is in the garage, it must be accessible
  • No storage in front of the electrical panel, including on the floor
  • Do not overload electrical outlets, and do not use extension cords
  • Unplug equipment and chargers when not in use

Heating equipment and other ignition sources

  • Properly install and vent all heating equipment
  • Keep all flammable and combustible items away from heat sources

Stored items

  • Stacks of clutter on surfaces, shelves and floors reduces the useful space in your garage and can be a trip hazard
  • Shelving, racks or storage systems must be stable and well anchored, and able to support the load it holds
  • Stored items and clutter add fuel for a fire in your garage – keep only what you need, neatly arranged

Flammables and Combustibles

  • Solvents, fuels, paint, fertilizers, chemicals and more pose a fire hazard - Use up, give away or recycle your excess products
  • Consider an approved cabinet for storing flammables and combustibles
  • Keep all flammables and combustibles away from children and ignition sources
  • Propane must not be stored in the garage, and never near doors, windows or other openings. Propane is a fire and health hazard

The Door and Building Construction

  • The door between the house and garage has special features that can protect your home from the flow of fumes, smoke and flame
  • The door must self-close and latch to be most effective - Repair or replace the door if it does not self-close and latch
  • If the attic space has open rafters, or the walls are open studs, consider finishing the garage interior with fire rated materials - This helps slow or stop a fire from moving into the attic or the home

Reminders for safety!

  • Warm the car in the driveway, not in the garage
  • BBQ and grill on the patio or driveway, never in the garage no matter what the heating source
  • Have an appropriate size and type fire extinguisher and know how to use it