West Metro Fire-Rescue District: Protecting Against Potential Garage Hazards
With the increasing use of garages as multi-functional spaces, the West Metro Fire-Rescue District says it’s more important than ever to implement safety measures to prevent accidents and potential fire hazards.
Deputy Fire Marshal Shelby Wolf, West Metro Fire-Rescue District, says one of the biggest garage safety concerns revolves around lithium batteries, commonly found in devices like hoverboards, e-bikes, power tools and electronic gadgets.
“They can pose big risks if not handled correctly,” stated Wolf. “Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for storage and charging.”
Wolf also says it’s important to use the correct battery, cord and power adapter provided by the manufacturer, and avoid intermixing or using aftermarket brands.
In addition to lithium battery safety, there are several other factors to keep in mind when it comes to garage safety.
Wolf says people should avoid the temptation to add multiple extension cords, adapters, or power strips to the existing wiring.
Avoid Overcrowding Extension Cords and Power Strips
“It’s important to avoid daisy-chaining extension cords and power strips,” Wolf explained. “Overloading them can lead to overheating and fires, so consider using a proper outlet or installing additional outlets if needed.”
Wolf warns that grilling should never be done inside a garage due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire.
“Make sure to use your grill outdoors in a well-ventilated area,” state Wolf. “When disposing of used charcoal or burned wood, I recommend keeping them in a metal container for a couple of weeks. This allows any remaining heat to dissipate before throwing them in a garbage bag.”
Wolf says it’s important to let used charcoal and burned wood cool down in a metal container for a couple of weeks before placing them in a garbage bag or can, and to always keep those materials away from structures to prevent accidental ignition.
It is also important to use caution when disposing of grass clippings, dog waste and sawdust near structures. The organic materials have the potential to decompose and generate heat, leading to spontaneous combustion and fires.
Wolf encourages homeowners and renters to make a habit of regularly inspecting their garages for potential hazards, especially in the summer months.
Visit West Metro Fire-Rescue’s website for more information.