Why do many garages pose a fire hazard?
- Where are you most likely to do any welding, or any work on your car? These activities require working with all sorts of flammable materials.
- Water heaters and boilers are usually stored in garages, and they can create sparks that may ignite fumes or fluids. Car batteries, too, will spark under certain conditions.
- Oil and gasoline can drip from cars. These fluids may collect unnoticed and eventually ignite, given the proper conditions.
- Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, motor oil and paint are commonly stored in garages. Some other examples are brake fluid, varnish, paint thinner and lighter fluid.
If there is a door that connects the garage to the living area, consider the following:
- Do not install a pet door in the door! Flames can more easily spread into the living area through a pet door, especially if it’s made of plastic.
- Does the door have a window? Acer Home Inspections can inspect the window to tell if it’s fire-rated.
- The door should be self-closing. While it may be inconvenient, especially while carrying groceries into the house from the car, doors should be self-closing. You never know when a fire will happen, and it would be unfortunate to accidentally leave the door open while a fire is starting in the garage.
- Check the joints and open spaces around the door. Are they tightly sealed? Any openings at all can allow dangerous fumes, such as carbon monoxide or gasoline vapor, to enter the living area. Acer Home Inspections can recommend ways to seal the door so that fumes cannot enter the living area.
Concerning items placed on the floor, you should check for the following:
- Store your flammable liquids in clearly labeled, self-closing containers, and only in small amounts. Keep them away from heaters, appliances, pilot lights and other sources of heat or flame.
- Never store propane tanks indoors. If they catch fire, they can explode. Propane tanks are sturdy enough to be stored outdoors.
Eventually, your buyers are going to conduct an inspection. You may as well know what they are going to find by getting there first. Having an inspection performed ahead of time helps in many other ways, such as:
- It allows you to see your home through the eyes of a critical and neutral third party.
- It alerts you to immediate safety issues before agents and visitors tour your home.
- It may alert you to items of immediate concern, such as radon gas.
- It permits you to make repairs ahead of time so that …
- Defects won’t become negotiating stumbling blocks later.
- There is no delay in obtaining the Use and Occupancy Permit.
- You have the time to get reasonably priced contractors or make the repairs yourself, if qualified.
- It helps you to price your home realistically.
- It may relieve prospects’ concerns and suspicions.
- It may encourage the buyer to waive his inspection contingency.
- It reduces your liability by adding professional supporting documentation to your disclosure statement.
Copies of the inspection report, along with receipts for any repairs, should be made available to potential buyers.