Many homeowners are not aware of the types of disasters and risks their garage poses. This is especially true of hot garages, which can pose fire risks.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, between the years 2009 to 2011, there were around 6,600 garage related residential fires that caused over $450 million in property damage and 30 deaths. Hot smoldering objects like cigarettes, heat from powered equipment or open flame heat from welding torches or wood stoves are the primary causes of garage related residential fires.
Causes of Hot Garages
As the temperatures climb throughout the day, between 4 and 5 p.m. is where they often peak. During this time is when the sun’s direct rays cook just about everything it shines on, which includes your garage as well as everything you have in it.
Hot Lawn Equipment
The garage is generally where homeowners store many of their items which include lawn equipment. Lawn equipment (mowers and tractors) can often become very hot after use and when people just pull them in their garage right after mowing their lawns without allowing them to cool down first, it can be dangerous.
The hot engines of this type of equipment can spark very easily and cause a fire which can spread to your home. Not to mention, there are countless combustible liquids inside the garage such as the mower’s fuel which can be a recipe for disaster if combined with a hot engine.
Every car has mechanical parts that can become extremely hot after being run for over 10 or more minutes. When parked in the garage right after driving it, you risk the car radiating heat inside your garage for hours after you have parked it.
Ways to Cool Your Garage
To cool down your garage, you can insulate your garage doors, ceiling, and walls. It’s essential to ensure you have proper attic ventilation above the garage and if not, it will be beneficial to add in gable, roof and eave vents to properly ventilate the heated air from the attic through the roof or vents.
An effective way to eliminate any heat build-up in the garage is to install garage exhaust fans. Proper ventilation is very important and required if you store fuel fired equipment inside your garage. Furthermore, consider how many chemicals, poisons and exhaust fumes you have in your garage. Things like pool supplies, car-care chemicals, glues, pest-control products and even lighter fluid for lighting the grill can pose a risk.
Car exhaust alone contains dangerous and deadly particles that can cause cancer and can be brought into your household each time you open the garage door. If you install a wall-mounted garage exhaust fan (typically on the opposite wall of the door that leads to your home) you can reduce potential toxic car fumes from getting inside your home.
Because you might feel cooled down due to the air stream, this doesn’t mean the objects in your garage are. You feel cool because the heat is being rapidly extracted from your body as your perspiration evaporates, however, objects don’t sweat. You should think about putting your fans on some sort of timer which will allow them to operate for a few hours to ensure objects are being cooled down efficiently.