Hale Fire Protection District

Basement and Garage Fire Safety

The risk of fire in basement and garage areas can be significantly reduced by implementing proper fire safety measures.

Basements and garages are often used for storage and can contain a variety of flammable materials such as gasoline, paint thinner, and cleaning chemicals. Unfortunately, this makes them a common location for fires to start in residential buildings. The risk of fire in these areas can be significantly reduced by implementing proper fire safety measures. These may include regular inspection and maintenance of electrical wiring and appliances, proper storage and disposal of flammable materials, and installation and maintenance of smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. In addition, it is important to have a well-planned evacuation strategy in case of an emergency. By taking these precautions, you can ensure a safer environment for both your property and your family.

Basement and Garage Fire Safety

Basement fire safety:
Early warning devices

    • 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.
garage fire

Basement fire safety:

    • 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.

Garage fire safety
Safety through construction (install)

    • A 20-minute fire-rated door that is self-closing and self-latching from the garage into the house.
    • A ceiling made with 5/8-inch Type X gypsum board (or the equivalent) if you have living space above the garage.
    • A wall with 1/2-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.
    • heat alarm — not a smoke alarm — in your garage. The heat alarm will sound if the temperature rises too high.
prevent home garage fires
garage fires

Basement fire safety:

    • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from the furnace, oil burner, wood stoves, water heaters and other heat-generating equipment.
    • Keep oily rags in airtight containers and away from heat sources.
    • Trash should not be stored in the basement.
    • Washers and dryers should be plugged directly into wall outlets.
    • Clean lint filters every time you use the dryer. Clean the dryer vent ductwork every year.
    • Keep stairs free of clutter and safe for quick exit in an emergency.

Garage fire safety

    • 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 1 charging appliance into an outlet.
    • Don’t use an extension cord when charging an appliance.
prevent basement fires

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