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Garage and Basement Fire Safety

Firefighters tackling a blaze in a small building, with onlookers and emergency vehicles present.

Garage and basement fires can spread farther and cause more injuries and dollar loss than fires that start in other areas of your home. Here is everything you need to know about keeping your home safe!

Garage & Basement Fire 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.
  • Install:
    1. A 20-minute fire-rated door that is self-closing and self-latching from the garage into the house.
    2. A ceiling made with ⅝-inch Type X gypsum board (or the equivalent) if you have living space above the garage.
    3. A wall with ½-inch gypsum board (or the equivalent) if the wall attaches the garage to your home.
    4. An attic hatch cover if you have attic access from the garage.
    5. A heat alarm — not a smoke alarm — in your garage. The heat alarm will sound if the temperature rises too high.
Did You Know? 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.