By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Even though there haven’t been any garage fires recently in Franklin County, fire marshal Scott Martin said residents need to be mindful of these types of incidents. They tend to spread farther and cause more injuries and dollar loss than those that begin in all other areas of a house.
He said annually there are 6,600 garage fires in houses that result in an average of 30 deaths, 400 injuries and over $457 million in property loss.
“Of these fires, 93 percent occurred in one- and two-family homes. The leading cause of these fires is electrical malfunction. This can be due to shorts in wires, damaged wires and overloading electrical outlets,” he said.
Martin said it is advisable to have a 20-minute, fire-rated door installed going from a garage into a house. These doors should be self-closing and self-latching.
“An attic hatch cover needs to be installed if you have attic access from the garage. If a living space is above the garage, a ceiling made with 5/8-inch gypsum board, or equivalent, needs to be installed. A wall with 1/2-inch gypsum board should be placed on any wall that attaches the garage to the house,” he said.
“A heat alarm, not a smoke alarm, needs to be placed in garages. The heat alarm will sound if the temperature rises too high. You can learn more about what type of heat alarm is best for garage installation at www.usfa. fema.gov”
This story is sponsored by The REAL Preston Idaho Classifieds.
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