Garage Fire Safety

Whether yours is cluttered and full of stuff your family needs to throw away, is essentially just a tool shed, or actually used for parking cars, the garage has a purpose. Garages can play a huge role in the way your home functions, which is why it is important to keep that space safe from fire.

Approximately 6,600 garage fires take place in the United states each year, according to the U. S. Fire Administration. On average 30 deaths, 400 injuries and $457 million in property loss occurs from garage fires each year. Of those fires, 93% took place in single or double family homes. According to the USFA, electrical malfunction is the leading cause of fires in the garage.

So what can you do to protect your garage?

Flammable Liquids
This includes oil, gasoline, paints, propane, varnishes, cleaning products and more. These items should be stored in a shed that is not connected to your home. If they are in an attached garage, ensure they are not near a heat source or any other appliances. Make sure they do not over heat and are stored in a clean area.

Electrical Safety
As the leading cause of garage fires, electricity needs to be a top priority. Make sure any light bulbs used in the garage are the right wattage for the fixture they are in. Never overload outlets and keep any cords or wires taped down so they are not disrupted. Have your wiring checked regularly and make sure there are no potential sparks waiting to happen.

Storage and Activities
First and foremost, never smoke in your garage. With the flammable liquids, appliances, and the dangers of a lit match or cigarette butt, smoking is always a bad idea in the garage (or in general). Never store any potential fire hazards near outlets or appliances. Instead, use shelving that is placed away from any other dangerous items or materials. Make sure you always keep your garage clean. Do not allow things to pile up, because that is a fire hazard if even one item is potentially flammable.

More likely than not, there is a fire risk in your garage right now. Take time to clean it out, go through your items, and reorganize it for safety. It might sound like a lot of effort, especially if your garage is used for storing every random thing, but it is worth it to keep your family, home and belongings safe.

Heat Detectors vs Smoke Detectors: Filling The Safety Gaps

Crossfire Alarms is known for its interconnected smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors that alert you and your family of danger when only seconds count. We pride ourselves of alerting people earlier and providing more accurate alarms than any other detectors on the market. At Crossfire Alarms, our goal is to save lives, that’s why we provide both Heat and Smoke alarms with our systems. But what is the difference between the two?

Smoke
Everyone is used to seeing smoke detectors in their home. For most people, homes come equipped with basic, ionization smoke alarms already installed. Smoke alarms are designed to detect the presence of smoke or fire in a room, meaning they react once fire or smoke danger is already present in the home. These kind of alarms go off when smoke reaches a dangerous level in a specific room.

Heat
In most homes, there are rooms where smoke alarms cannot be installed. These rooms include laundry rooms, attics, garages, and utility rooms. Often times, these rooms reach high temperatures or have a consistent presence of smoke and other chemicals. However, these are still high risk areas of the home and need protection. Heat detectors often use rate-of-rise technology to determine what safe or “normal” temperatures for a room, and sense when the temperature rises too much too quickly.

Why You Need Both
Both heat and smoke alarms have one simple purpose: to alert you of the danger of a fire or potential fire in your home. While smoke alarms are able to detect the presence of smoke in the majority of rooms in a home, heat alarms are able to fill in the gaps in rooms where smoke alarms are prohibited. By equipping your home with both, you eliminate the danger of a fire starting in a room without your knowledge.

How They Can Work Together
Crossfire Alarms is known for its interconnected system of smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors. This system is designed to alert you of a fire in any room of the home by setting off every alarm in the system the second it detects danger. Once you are alerted of a threat, you can find out what room the danger is in by shutting off all alarms in the home except the one in the room where danger occurred. Interconnected systems, like the one made by Crossfire Alarms, cover every room, nook, cranny and corner of your home in order to keep you alerted of a danger in time to get out safely.

When it comes to fire safety, the first step should always be to purchase effective smoke and heat alarms. Even though heat alarms are not required, they provide protection in rooms where you would otherwise be left vulnerable to a growing fire.

Crossfire Systems Save Lives

At Crossfire Alarms, we have one simple purpose: to save lives. Our system of interconnected smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms is designed to help you and your family be alerted of a danger the moment it happens so you can get to safety. We have been a part of the fire safety industry for over 30 years, and have a proven record of saving lives across the country.

Over the years, we have received hundreds of accounts of people who are alive today because of their Crossfire system. From cooking mishaps and malfunctioning appliances, to disconnected water heaters and gas leaks, we have heard it all. Every single story we hear is different and involves different scenarios. However there is one over-arching theme in every testimony our customers send: they lived.

Here are a few examples of some instances where Crossfire responded in time to save lives:

“Around 3:00am, about one month after we had purchased our alarms from you, we had a lamp get knocked over in our bedroom. It fell on a rug and started to smolder. OF course we were asleep and not until the Crossfire Alarm woke us all up did we know we had a fire. Just the night before my husband had said ‘Maybe we made a mistake and spent too much money.’ Now he knows we did the right thing purchasing the system.”
-Melvin & Josie R.

“My wife Susan was at work, and the children were at school. I had done some house cleaning and had lighted some candles in the candles in the house. I finally got to bed after being awake for 36 hours plus. Sometime in the past I experienced 100% hearing loss in one ear and put an earplug in the other when I went to bed. I was asleep for approximately 3 hours when I heard the alarms going off. I yelled to my neighbor ‘Call 911 my house is on fire!’ I tried to go back into my home to save our two dogs but thick black smoke came billowing out. As I exited, the pets did follow me out. The interior of our house was gutted but I owe my life to Crossfire!”
-Randy R.

“I was awakened by the smoke alarm in our bedroom. I went to the living room where I heard the other fire alarms ringing and found flames going up the wall above the fireplace mantel. I called the fire department and then tried to contain the fire with an extinguisher but to no avail. The house was saved but with a lot of damage. I might not be here to write this letter if not for the Crossfire detectors in our home.”
-Adrian H. L.

Each time we receive a testimony from someone whose life was saved, we remember why it is we do what we do. We are proud to be there for people when only seconds count, and that is why we get up to go to work every day. If your life has been saved by Crossfire Alarms, or you want to see stories of people who have been in that situation, head to our testimonial site, CrossfireLifeSavers.com.

The Cost of Fires

Fire can cost people their memories, their homes, their belongings, and often even their lives. When it comes to a fire, the costs keep going up the longer the fire blazes. In history, there have been many fires that people talk about for sheer volume and damage, but little who look into the actual monetary cost of each rampant fire. Here are a few of the most costly fires in history.

1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Resulting Fires – $8 billion
In 1906, one of the largest earthquakes in United States history hit the city of San Francisco, California. Following the earthquake, a series of fires broke out around the city and continued to grow until more than 25,000 buildings were destroyed and more than 3,000 lives were lost. The fire was able to grow due to damaged water lines form the earthquake, a lack of experienced firefighters, and little funding provided from the government.

1988 Piper Alpha Oil Rig – $3.4 billion
The world’s worst off-shore disaster is also one of its most expensive fires. On July 6, 1988 the world’s largest single oil producer was destroyed within 2 hours following a routine maintenance check. Technicians had removed and checked more than 100 identical safety valves, but neglected to replace one of the valves. When a technician pressed the start button for liquid gas pumps that evening, it created the most expensive oil rig accident, destroying the 300 foot platform and killing 167 workers.

1871 Great Chicago Fire – $2.9 billion
On dark night in October 1871, a cow in the O’Leary barn supposedly kicked over a lit lantern in the barn, which began one of history’s most notorious fires. All though the true origin of the fire is still unknown, the results are impossible to argue with. After burning for three days, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed over three square miles, and took more than 300 lives.

1991 Oakland Hills Fire Storm – $2.3 billion
The Oakland Hills Fire Storm began as a small brush fire, but became one of the United States’ worst urban disasters. Due to low humidity and high wind, the Oakland Hills Fire Storm continued to grow while dark smoke and rough terrain made it difficult for firefighters to control the blaze before it burned through three square miles of wealthy residential neighborhoods.

2004 German Tanker Truck Crash – $358 million
In Germany, a car was driving on the Wiehltal Bridge when it struck a tanker truck carrying 32,000 liters of fuel. The crash caused the tanker to barrel through the guardrail and fall 90 feet off of the A4 Autobahn. Upon crashing, the truck exploded, causing a fire that damaged the bridge and compromised any load-bearing abilities. Thankfully no lives were lost, but temporary costs were up to $40 million, while replacing the bridge entirely will cost Germany up to $318 million.