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2019

According to information published by the Topical Fire Series reports (Residential Building Garage Fires 2009-2011*), 2% of all residential fires originated in the attached garage of residential buildings. The root cause of many of these fires could also be traced back to the homeowners' basic practices, which is storing flammable substances and other items on the inside of their garage. It is also important to note that 93% of these fires were reported as being in both one- and two-story residential buildings.

 

Fire Rated Doors

Fire Door Between Garage and House

Having said this, you should also know that these reports are now highlighting the fact that these incidents can be avoided. Specifically, since following specific residential fire codes and requirements are essential to keeping the family safe from undue harm and danger. So, to address these critical issues and more, the United States Fire Departments are concerned about homeowners becoming aware of fire code requirements that can prevent injuries and deaths from increasing in future years. Fortunately, there are viable solutions that can assist in these situations, which include the installation of fire rated door garage to house becoming the norm instead of the exception. So, for those of you who are interested in learning more about your city's firewall code, as it relates to residential buildings, here are some facts that you need to know.

 

  1. Homeowners Must Consider Using Fire Rated Doors

 

Give Everyone in the Home the Added Time to Escape. When a homeowner considers what types of doors that they want to install to their garage, they may or may not think about the nature of the decision that they make. In fact, unless the homeowner is aware of what types of doors can prevent tragedies from happening, they may only think about the size and aesthetics. Whatever the case or situation, it is very important that homeowners and their families know that this decision is critical to everyone's safety.

 

Because the fire rated doors that people choose can make a significant difference in whether a family member lives or dies, the owner of the home has to pay special attention to what they are investing in. Hence, each type of fire rated door that is on the market today can be described with specific specifications since it involves how long a family member has to get out of the home before the fire jumps from the garage to the home. For instance, the owner will have an option to choose between the different types once they understand the need and the related results. Usually, when giving a choice the owner, they will make a decision between those fire rated doors that will give them the following set timing:

 

- the family has 90 minutes to get out of the home before the fire jumps from the garage to the home

- the family has 4 hours to get out of the home before the fire jumps from the garage to the home

 

 

  1. Top Cause of Residential Garage Fires (Years 2009 -2011 Statistics)

Residential Fire Rated Garage Doors

The push to make sure every homeowner understand the crucial nature of these fires and how they can be avoided, there are a number of different things that homeowners should be educated on well in advance. Some of the most important have been communicated in reports some of the most common issues of concerns during these times. For instance, here are several incidents that have occurred and the cause of residential garage fires.

 

Heat from Powered Equipment - 42%

Hot or Smoldering Objects - 18.5%

Open Flame or Smoking Material- 16.9%

Heat Spread From Another Fire- 14.7%

Chemical, Natural Heat Source- 5.9%

Other Heat Source- 6.2%

Explosive, Fireworks- 1.7%

Undetermined - 37.2%

 

Each of the descriptions above is contributing factors to the reasons why these residential fires are happening and why the types of doors installed on garages and homes are essential. Specifically, as it relates to installing garage firewall code and fire rated door options on the home.

 

Fire Rated Door Labels

  1. Residential Homes Don't Have Firewalls

 Since residential fires can be devastating to the entire family, fires in a home should be taken very seriously. Thankfully, the burden of this responsibility does not have to fall on the homeowner and their families alone to find the best solution. This is because manufacturers in several industries are adding viable solutions to completely eliminate, control and contain the fires in residential places before complete destruction. Particularly, when the home can be built with fire rated door and door housing as a solution to eliminate being a part of these statistics (Doors must be properly maintained and are closed and latched in the event of a fire).

 

Additionally, with a fire rated garage door installed on the home, the owner can take advantage of the numerous features. For instance, the traditional garage door is often made of wooden materials. Therefore, it is very easy for a fire to burn through these doors and consume them within minutes. On the other hand, when the owner has fire rated doors installed on their homes, these doors have fiberglass and steel materials instead. Which means, the fire is contained much longer and cannot spread as easily from one area in the home to the next. Not only do some doors extend the withstand period, Thermatru, Cornell and other manufacture doors can see max temperatures as high as1400 degrees Fahrenheit (760 °C) and meet NFPA 80 standards.

 

It is also important to note that the owner has a choice between which ones that they deem as best for them and their needs and preference. Especially, when they are looking for an economical alternative to suit these same purposes. For instance, there are fire rated doors that have a 20-minute-several hours rating, and they can be selected to meet fire department code requirements for residential spaces (check your condo or townhouse, local building codes for any requirements of fire-rated entry or house-to-garage-doors). Because houses don't have 'firewalls', it is recommended at minimum to use solid wood doors not less than 1-3/8" (35 mm) in thickness, solid- or honeycomb-core steel doors not less than 1-3/8" (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors. To increase level of life safety within a home, look into sprinkler systems**.



*https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v14i12.pdf
**https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=13D

Unfortunately, no one knows when or where a fire tragedy will strike any home. However, we can address and plan in advance with teaching fire safety for kids. A home fire and devastating experiences will affect the entire family physically and mentally. Particularly, as it relates to how a fire can affect the kids in the home. Even though these events can happen at any time, there are some things that you can do to increase the kid(s) chances of coming out safe and free from harm. Learn what to do, how to prepare, and how to respond properly for an unexpected house fire.

 

Protect Your Kids by Following Safe Prevention Practices

 To protect kids with fire safety facts, advise a plan based on fire preparedness and fire escape planning. Additional prevention tips and training include how to protect your kids by establishing the best safe prevention practices, educating your kids in detail on how to survive a fire, making sure your home is fireproof and putting your escape plan into practice

 

Educate Kids on Fire Safety 

NFPA Fire Facts report, the U.S. fire departments across the country are responding to approximately one home fire every 88 seconds. As many as 7 people actually die in the fires that they are called to the scene to extinguish. Therefore, to increase a child's probability from being a victim of these devastating statistics, putting the best child fire safety measures and fire prevention tips in place.

Fire Safety TipsChildren in the home are considered to be the most vulnerable, and those under the age of 5 are twice as likely to not make it out. Fire safety for kids is not a luxury but a necessity for preserving their lives.

 

Focus on Fire Prevention 

 Many of the home fires that the U.S. Fire Administration reports each year is caused by kids playing with fire. To minimize and eliminate these fires from starting, family members must do their part in keeping flammable items out of their hands. For instance, kids should never have access to lighters, matches or any other substance that can ignite flames i.e. flood safety around electrical outlets and connections.

 

Install, and Maintain Fire and Smoke Alarms

 

Homes should have the appropriate fire and smoke alarms installed and must remain in good working order at all times. The installation of these alarms is designed to make sure individuals inside know that there is fire or smoke in the vicinity and to get out. For fire safety for kids, kids 5 and under should also be taught to listen carefully to these sounds as well as what they should do when they hear the high-pitched alarm. Take care and maintain your alarm systems effectively

 

- Install smoke alarms in your home (i.e. bedrooms, hall, kitchen, etc.).

 

- Push the test button to see if they work, do this at least once a month.

 

- Once a year, you should replace batteries in these alarms or when they chirp (alarming the batteries are low).

 

- Every member of the household needs to know 2 ways to escape and where to gather outside.

 

Develop a Plan for Your Home

 

Develop a plan and become aware of the latest statistics in home fires and fire safety facts. Cooking accounts for 21% of the fires and heating equipment is contributed to 19% in the US, with every 5 homes reporting a death.

 

Home Fire Safety

 

Fire Safety Rules and Maintaining a Fire Hazard-Free Kitchen

 

As mentioned above, cooking fires usually start in the kitchen. These fires are not started in the oven but on the top of the stove. With this being true, here are a few tips that can help you in avoiding these kinds of fires.

 

- Do not leave the kitchen when stove is on.

 

- Remove towels, and other flammable materials away from the stove.

 

- Microwaves and ovens should not be obstructed or covered.

 

- Have an easily accessible fire extinguisher inside the kitchen.

 

- Remember grease and water do not mix. Do not use water to put out a grease fire.

 

 

Fire-Hazard Heating Equipment in the Home

  

Between the months of December and February, space heaters are reported as being the cause of at least 1 in 5 home fires annually. Even though many people may know there are inherent hazards, there are times when a family may not have much of a choice. In these cases, to eliminate the possibilities of a space heater hazard, here are some things that you can do to ensure fire safety for kids, school grades i.e. preschoolers and kindergartners.

 

- Keep inflammable materials and any other hot items 3 feet (0.91 meters) from kids.

 

- Use each of your electric outlets for no more than one space heater or any other heating appliance. By only plugging in only one electric heater into an outlet, you can prevent the overload that causes many of the home fires today

 

- To avoid kids from carbon monoxide poisoning, make sure to place portable gas generators on the outside of the home. It is also important to keep them far away from your windows and other openings.

 

- If you have a fireplace inside of your home, it is important that these heating resources are cleaned and inspected. Contact a professional cleaning service for these jobs. Also, once the fireplace has been cleaned, you should also invest in a metal or glass screen to place over the opening. This covering is used to keep embers from escaping into the home and igniting a fire.

 

- When leaving the home or deciding to sleep in another room, you should extinguish the flames from any candles or heating appliances that you have on.

 

Fire Prevention for KidsCheck Out Your Electronics and Outlets Regularly to Prevent Fire Damage

 

As you buy new appliances to use in your home, the places that you plug these things can become limited. In some cases, you may decide to double up on some of your electric outlets by putting as many as you can in at one time. Based on the outlet and how much electrical charge that it produces, it may not be difficult to overload it. Or, in some situations, you may find that the electric outlet is showing signs of wear and tear. In either case, you need to know how to inspect your sockets to prevent igniting a fire in the home. That said, here are some things that you can do to inspect your electric outlets to keep these areas fire hazard free.

 

- Take time to rearrange appliances so that each socket will only have one appliance plugged in. In some cases, this may require investing in more extension cords so that they can be used to reach outlets that are presently out of its reach

 

- Manufacturers design their appliances to use a certain amount of wattage and this needs to be followed as recommended. For instance, if the manufacturer recommends a 60-watt bulb for your portable lamp, you may stand a chance of fire damage if you overload it with a 100 watt light bulb instead. So, do not forget to check all appliances for the wattage that is equal to or less the recommended amounts

 

- Unplug appliances when the home will be vacant during travels, this will not only save on your energy bill but also help to avoid problems that may cause an electrical fire.

 

- Do not push computers and TVs close against the wall. This is because these electronic items need the added space to keep them from overheating. If these fire safety guidelines are not followed, there is a much higher risk of these electronics overheating and causing a fire when they are positioned next to something that is made of flammable materials.

 

 

Inspect Your Storage Areas

 

Now that you have taken care of the key places inside of your home where you spend most of your time, you can turn your focus on the outside, your basement and your attic. You may start this process by decluttering these areas by getting rid of anything that will pose a potential fire hazard. For instance, if you are warming up your garage with a space heater, you need to make sure that there are no inflammable materials near this area that can cause a fire. For instance, you may be storing piles and piles of old newspapers and other junk and debris that you really do not need.

 

Kids and Other Family Members Should Always Participate in Your Escape Plan

  

Even though you have covered everything that the Red Cross and others have recommended preventing anything from happening, you still need a plan that will help everyone to get out of the house safely in the event a fire is in the home. Here are some key elements of a safe escape plan to use.

Fire Escape Planning

 

- When creating your escape route for your kids, you need to point out at least 2 possible exits from every room. This is normally a door or a window. Therefore, when you are choosing or building a new home, you need to always avoid using a windowless design

 

- To get out quickly, each of these escape routes must be kept clutter free at all times. This is especially critical to your plan since you do not want your kids to trip and fall while they are getting to safety

 

- Plan must be practiced at least 2 times annually and the goal is for everyone to get out of the home within a time frame of fewer than 2 minutes