The SAFE Guide to Preventing a Deadly Garage Fire
Without a doubt, your garage is one of the most dangerous places in your home where a fire can break out. The interior of a car is highly flammable, so even the smallest flame could quickly spread into a dangerous blaze—or even an explosion. Thankfully, there are many ways to prevent a serious fire from breaking out in your garage. If you want to improve your fire safety, take a look at this simple SAFE guide.
S is for Sprucing: Tidy Up Clutter
Garages may be intended for cars, but they're more commonly filled with clutter that can't fit in the house. While it's okay to use your garage as a storage area if you must, it's important that you keep it well organised. If a fire does break out in your garage, clutter and trash will be one of the first things to ignite—if that clutter is spread haphazardly around the garage, you could find yourself with a huge and rapidly growing fire on your hands. To prevent this, make sure you make use of shelving and storage boxes to keep your belongings orderly and well away from possible fire sources (such as power outlets). For the best chance at preventing a fire, make sure you also empty your garbage bins and sweep out dust on a regular basis.
A is for Appliances: Power Them Carefully
Does your garage double up as a workstation or studio? If so, it's crucial that you exercise caution when powering and charging the appliances you use, as electrical appliances are one of the most common causes of garage fires. When plugging into a power tool, a computer or anything else you keep in your garage, make sure you follow the rule of one appliance per outlet. Using extenders which turn one outlet into two drastically increases the risk of a fire outbreak. On top of that, make sure you always unplug appliances before you leave the garage. If you leave items charging unattended, they could ignite while you're not there to watch them.
F is for Flammables: Store Them Elsewhere
Your garage may seem like a logical place to store various DIY and automotive fluids like petrol and paint, but remember that these items are highly flammable. Keeping them in your garage could turn a small, manageable fire into a huge blaze before your eyes. Ideally, such items should be kept well away from your house and garage entirely. If you don't have a shed or outhouse where you can keep them, purchase an outdoor storage box that you can place in your yard.
E is for Equipment: Have it Prepared
Last but certainly not least is fire equipment. Having a fire extinguisher won't stop a fire from happening, but it will help you put one out before it becomes serious. However, not just any fire extinguisher will do. Different types of extinguishers work for different types of fires. The two most common classes of fire that break out in a garage are Class B fires (ignited by flammable liquids or gases) and Class C fires (ignited by electricals). Carbon dioxide extinguishers and dry chemical extinguishers can extinguish both of these fire classes safely, so make sure you have one of these to hand in case of emergency.