Garage Fire Safety Tips
Garage Fire Safety Tips
Though many homeowners spend time fireproofing their homes, it’s easy to forget about the garage. However, making your garage fire-safe is an essential part of protecting your family and your home from fire damage.
Garage fires are more dangerous and more costly than fires starting in other areas of the home. In fact, garage fires result in an average of 30 deaths, 400 injuries and $457 million in property loss every year in the United States.
Garage fires also tend to spread faster than other home fires, which makes it even more important to keep them from starting in the first place. Use these three garage fire safety tips to prevent fires and make your garage safer for you and the other members of your household.
1. Follow Guidelines for Electrical Safety
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, electrical malfunctions are the leading cause of garage fires. The best way to protect your home, then, is to stop a fire before it starts by doing the following:
- Install GFCI Circuit Breakers: Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are usually installed in kitchens and bathrooms to protect people from electrical shock. However, you can also install them in your garage to prevent overheating and resulting fire.
- Avoid Extension Cords: Avoid plugging charging appliances into extension cords, since they can overheat.
- Plug in One Appliance at a Time: Overloading electrical outlets is a common cause of electrical fires. Prevent overloads by plugging in only one charging appliance at a time.
2. Store Flammable Materials Properly
Flammable materials commonly stored in garages include gasoline, aerosol cleaning products, lighter fluid, paint, paint thinner, propane and oil-based cleaning products. These tips can help you use these materials safely:
- Store Flammable Materials Away From the House: Flammable materials should be stored away from the home, in a shed if possible. If you must store flammable materials in the garage, be sure to keep them in approved containers, away from outlets and electrical appliances.
- Don’t Pour Gas in the Garage: You shouldn’t pour from portable gasoline containers while inside the garage. Instead, pour gas outside and clean up spills if they occur.
- Check Your Car for Leaks: Brake fluid and gasoline are both highly flammable. Keep your garage safe by periodically checking your car for leaks.
3. Design a Fire-Safe Garage
Elements of your garage’s construction can contribute to fire safety as well. Try these tips to design a fire-safe garage:
- Protect Connecting Walls: Install 1/2 inch gypsum board on walls that connect to the inside of the house and 5/8 inch gypsum board for ceilings under an occupied part of the house.
- Get a Heat Alarm: Heat alarms alert you to fire. They work better than smoke alarms in garages because they’re less sensitive to dust and humidity.
- Install a Fire-Rated Door: Choose a self-latching and closing fire-rated door from your garage to the inside of the house. This makes it harder for fire to migrate inwards.
- Choose a Garage Door With Fireproof Features: This prevents your door from catching fire and keeps fire from spreading outside, as well.
Prevent Fires With Blankenship
At Blankenship Garage Doors, we believe your garage door should be safe, as well as functional. If you’re hoping to fireproof your garage, we can help. Call Blankenship today for more information on our fire-rated garage doors.
How to Detect Garage Door Scams
How to Detect Garage Door Scams
When your garage door stops working, you need to find someone who can help with repairs fast. Ideally, you would be able to find a reputable repair service right away. Unfortunately, however, some people are eager to take advantage of homeowners in need of emergency repairs, so it’s important to remain vigilant when choosing a repair company.
When you search for a repair service online, it’s possible that you’ll come across scam companies designed to lure in desperate customers and overcharge for unnecessary repairs. In order to protect yourself from potentially costly charges, use this guide to detect garage door scams and identify reputable companies in your area.
Warning Signs of a Garage Door Scam
A reputable repair company wants to build positive, lasting relationships with customers. Scam companies, on the other hand, focus on tricking first-time customers. This means scam companies operate very differently from reputable services.
In your preliminary search for a repair professional, look out for these common scam warning signs:
- Generic or Inconsistent Branding: Many scam companies operate under multiple names to avoid detection. Avoid companies with generic-sounding names or that use different names online than in their advertising.
- Claims That Seem Too Good to Be True: Companies that offer low service call fees and claim their parts come with “lifetime guarantees” often turn out to be scams. Evaluate too-good-to-be-true offers carefully before calling.
- Pressure to Purchase: When you have a reputable technician over to examine your garage door, they’ll likely show you damaged parts and explain any necessary repairs. However, they’ll never pressure you to agree to their suggestions. Pressure to purchase, especially without sufficient explanation, could indicate you’re dealing with a scammer.
How to Avoid Getting Scammed
You can take several steps to avoid accidentally hiring a scammer. By following these recommendations, you can detect scam companies and hire a reputable service instead:
- Ask Questions: When you first contact a garage door repair service, ask for the name of the company and their street address and double check their answers. If the name provided differs from what you expected or if they struggle to provide this information, hang up and try contacting another service.
- Read Online Reviews: Look beyond company websites for reviews — scammers can easily falsify website testimonials. Try looking on sites like Angie’s List for reviews from legitimate users instead.
- Choose a Verified Dealer: Many disreputable companies lack certification. Search for companies with proof of International Door Association (IDA) membership and Institution of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation (IDEA) certification. You can also check a company’s reliability by making sure they’re listed on their garage door manufacturer’s website.
Find a Garage Door Repair Service You Can Trust
It’s an unfortunate fact that disreputable repair services exist across the United States and Canada. By educating yourself and exercising caution, you can avoid scams and find a reputable company to help you with garage door repairs.
At Blankenship Garage Doors, we’re dedicated to providing excellent service to our clients as a proud member of the Central Oregon Builders Association and the IDA. If you’re looking for a garage door company you can trust, call Blankenship today and learn how we can help.