This article will help you understand the chances of having a garage fire and the best ways to protect your garage, home, and family.
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Protecting your garage from fires is an important subject that deserves a thorough answer. Every year, millions in property loss, hundreds of injuries, and tragic deaths occur from garage fires. It is important to ensure that your property is not involved in one of the thousands of garage fires that occur.
To understand the cause of garage fires, how to handle a fire, and what to do in case of a fire, pay close attention to the rest of this article. It will focus on the best ways to prevent fires and keep your garage and family safe.
The Most Frequent Causes of Garage Fires
Everyone wants to know how to prevent fires, but to best do this you must also understand why fires begin. This article will specifically answer why garages catch on fire. The answer is more complicated than you would think.
Although most house fires do not begin in the garage, the ones that do have the greatest potential of getting out of control. That is because garages are frequented less than other spaces of your home. So, a fire starting in your garage has time to build to the point it is capable of burning down not just your garage, but your house as well.
Flames are the last thing you want to see in your garage. Image: Pixabay
Why Do Garage Fires Happen?
The list of potential causes of garage fires is nearly endless, however, four causes are the most common. Continue reading to figure the main causes of fires so you can be cognizant of these threats in your garage.
● Electrical Issues
Electrical malfunctions are the leading cause of garage fires. Check your garage for faulty or old electrical circuits because they have the potential to spark a fire. Another concern is overloaded electrical outlets. Another tip is to not use extension cords for long periods.
If you have an older home, it is important to have a professional come and inspect your wiring. Often with older homes, the wiring can be a serious fire hazard as it was completed without reference to modern safety regulations.
Many households use their garage basically as a storage unit for all their unnecessary items. While this may be convenient in the short term, your garage can quickly become packed with clutter. This is dangerous because the more clutter you have, the more fuel there is for fires, leading to a fire that spreads rapidly.
That’s why you should try to declutter your garage. You probably don’t actually need the majority of these items, and they could be of better use if they are donated, gifted, or simply thrown away.
● Flammable Liquids
Not only are garages used as storage containers for clutter, but they are also used to store things like oil, gas, and cleaning solutions. Liquids like this are not inherently dangerous However, if they ignite from a spark or flame, they can dramatically increase the spread of fire in your garage. Additionally, if they are not stored properly, their vapor can also catch on fire.
It is best to keep liquids like these stored in a safer place, like a shed. Another tip is to use safe containers and explicitly label them.
● Propane Tanks
While it may be summertime and you are getting a lot of use out of your grill, you still should avoid storing your propane in the garage. It may not seem risky, but if your propane tank is leaking or not sealed well, it is extremely dangerous. Gas will continuously leak into the enclosed space of your garage. It would only take a small spark to ignite the gas in the air, resulting in a devastating explosion.
Fire officials always warn against storing propane tanks in your garage. A solution is to find a safer outdoor storage area or simply purchase fewer tanks. It is truly a danger to your home and family if there is an explosion coming from your garage.
How to Prevent Fires
The best way to protect your garage, home, and family from fires is through prevention. It’s important to both understand how to lower the chance of a fire occurring and what to do in the case that a fire breaks out. This is especially the case with garage fires, which generally spread faster and have the potential to cause more injuries than other home fires.
While many people only place smoke alarms in their homes, they belong in your garage too! Here are two other ways to prevent and control fires in your garage and home:
● Keep a fire extinguisher in your house as well as in your garage.
● Have a heat alarm installed in your house if your garage door opener doesn’t already possess one.
A question we frequently get is whether you can light a fire inside your garage. We do not recommend doing this at all. Lighting a flame in your garage can easily lead to a fire. Never use a fire pit inside of your garage or any enclosed space.
If a fire is raging out of control, for the safety of yourself and your family, don’t be a hero. Leave the area and call your local fire department and emergency services.
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4 Steps to Follow for Homeowners Recovering from a Fire
Garage fires can be a hectic scenario. Before taking these next steps, take a breath and relax yourself as best as possible. The only way to fix a chaotic event is through calm and calculated planning.
1. Call Your Insurance Company
Before calling your insurance company, check your policy to ensure the payment you are getting is appropriate for the plan you paid for. It is best to reach out to your insurance company as quickly as possible after a home fire. All insurance policies are unique, and the amount of money you receive will dictate how you move forward.
The majority of insurance policies will compensate you for the value of your home before the fire happened. If you lost everything in the fire, your insurance company may settle by paying for both the policy amount for the house and for all the belongings that have been lost.
It’s best to never see these at your home. Prevention is key. Image: Pixabay.
2. Hire a Professional Inspector
After a fire, insurance companies will often have an adjuster come inspect your home. While this may sound like a good thing, you must be cautious. This inspection will be done in the best interest of your insurance company, not you. Instead, independently hire a professional that can give you the real answers about the cost of repairs.
A professional inspector will look at the interior walls, heating systems, structure, framing, roof, siding, plumbing, and concrete or stucco.
3. Weigh the Pros and Cons of Rebuilding vs. Repairing
Once a thorough inspection is complete, and you have an accurate price estimate of the damages, you can make the decision to either repair or take down and rebuild your garage. It is important to understand that your insurance policy and its payout may severely hinder your options. Be cognizant of additional costs incurred from the cleanup process. This includes things like water damage, soot removal, smoke damage restoration, etc.
4. Make Sure to Hire Only Experts and to Hire Local
Now that you have decided whether to rebuild your garage or to repair it, it’s time to hire the contractor will actuate it. Your job still isn’t quite finished. To make sure everything goes smoothly, you must do a lot of homework to get the right contractor. This contractor should be experienced in your specific needs and in dealing with insurance companies.
Replacing Your Garage Door
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One of the inevitable decisions when rebuilding your garage is what kind of garage door you want to install. To narrow down your choices, consider your budget and the correct door size for your garage. Another thing to consider is whether you would like an attached or a detached garage door.
If you aren’t sure what is right for your needs, you can learn more about your options. It can be hard to decide between one car and two-car garages. It’s also important to decide what kind of garage door opener matches your needs. Some garage door openers come with innovative features like two-way audio and cameras.
If you want to ensure your garage maintains an appropriate temperature, there are two important factors to consider when buying a garage door:
● Will your new door reflect light? The ability of your garage door to reflect light has a substantial effect on how cool your garage stays. The more reflection, the cooler your garage.
● Will your new garage door be made to stop the wind? Questions like this are important to ask the garage door expert you are working with. The last thing you want is to hear the screech of the wind coming in through your garage.
Keep in mind your budget and the style of your home when selecting a garage door.
Is it Time to Install a New Garage Door?
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If you are ready to get into contact with the best in the business, call 705-733-1211. We will make sure you get the best choice for your home.
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