Facts about garage fires
Every year, there are 6,600 garage fires in homes that result in an average of:
- 30 deaths.
- 400 injuries.
- $457 million in property loss.
Of these fires, 93 percent occurred in one- and two-family homes.
Electrical malfunction is the leading cause of garage fires. These fires can start because of shorts in wires, damaged wires, and overloading electrical outlets.
Garage fire safety tips
- Store oil, gasoline, paints, propane and varnishes in a shed away from your home.
- Keep items that can burn on shelves away from appliances.
- Plug only one charging appliance into an outlet.
- Don’t use an extension cord when charging an appliance.
- A 20-minute fire-rated door that is self-closing and self-latching from the garage into the house.
- A ceiling made with ⅝-inch Type X gypsum board (or the equivalent) if you have living space above the garage.
- A wall with ½-inch gypsum board (or the equivalent) if the wall attaches the garage to your home.
- An attic hatch cover if you have attic access from the garage.
- A heat alarm — not a smoke alarm — in your garage. The heat alarm will sound if the temperature rises too high.
Basement fire safety tips
- Install a smoke alarm in the basement. Test the alarm each month, and clean as needed. The basement smoke alarm should be connected to other smoke alarms in your home.
- If you have oil, gas or wood burning equipment in the basement, you should also have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in the basement.
- Maintain easy, quick access to your fuse box or circuit breaker panel.
- Keep the burner access doors on gas water heaters and gas furnaces closed to prevent flames from escaping and starting a fire.