Is Your Garage Fire Safe? - Salt 106.5

Is Your Garage Fire Safe?

Garage fires are on the rise, and latest data estimates that in South Australia, garage fires are costing households over $6 million a year.

By Salt 106.5 TeamSaturday 4 May 2024The Morning Wake-up with JordanaNewsReading Time: 2 minutes

The Country Fire Authority in Victoria responded to 26 garage fires in the first half of 2023 – and only 28 in the whole of 2022.
Key points
  • Garages can overheat, causing chemicals and paint to ignite.
  • Lithium-batteries and devices must be stored in a cool, clean, ventilated area.
  • Charging needs to be limited to 3-4 hours and switched off before going to bed.

Garage fires are on the rise, and latest data estimates that in South Australia, garage fires are costing households over $6 million a year.

John Griffin, State Manager at Brooks Australia explains that while the danger is real, there are some simple things we can all do, to make sure our garages are fire safe.

Why can garages be a fire risk?

“Normally we just associate our garage with parking our car, or putting storage equipment in there but there [are] a lot of dangers that lurk in there,” he said.

“We might store paint; we might store our pool chemicals and they can often ignite and set on fire.

In South Australia, garage fires are costing households over $6 million a year.

“The reason why, is because of the fact that sometimes with garages, they become quite hot and if it’s against the garage door, which is only metal, the heat of the garage door is actually pushing into the paint, so that can also be quite dangerous and lead to a fire starting.”

Storing lithium-ion batteries and devices

Batteries pose a fire risk – and it’s something we need to be aware of.

“What’s happening now, especially with the sudden uprise in EV chargers that are going into the garages for your car, people are just putting all their scooters and their bikes [in the garage] and they’re charging them overnight,” John said.

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John advises householders to store batteries and devices in a cool, clean area with a good source of air flow.

Limit charging hours

Overcharging devices is also very risky.

“One of the big issues is the fact that [people are] charging them for so long,” John said.

“It’s really important that you limit the amount of time that you’re charging to 3-4 hours and make sure you’re switching it off before you go to bed,” he said and advises householders to keep an eye on rechargeable tools. Particularly cheaper brands, he says, which may cost less in the beginning but if they overcharge and ignite, will cost a lot more in the long run.

For further information, visit brooks.com.au


Feature image: Photo by CanvaPro