Installing a fire-rated garage door could save your life

Quick, next to your kitchen, where in your home is a fire most likely to start? The answer may surprise you – and that'swhy installing a fire rated garage door could save your life.

Installing a fire-rated garage door could save your life

What makes your garage a fire hazard?

When you think about the substances and equipment that you store in your garage, it actually makes sense. Below are just four common scenarios for a fire to start in your garage.

  1. Oil or gasoline can drip from cars and eventually ignite.
  2. Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil and paint, motor oil and lighter fluid are a danger.
  3. Heaters and boilers can create sparks that ignite fumes or fluids.
  4. Car batteries also have the potential to create sparks.

Installing a fire-rated garage door

Since a fire could spread from your garage to your house in a matter of minutes, it’s imperative to install a fire-rated door so you have enough time to escape to safety. This is particularly true if your garage is physically attached to your house, because a fire will spread to your living area much more quickly.

According to the International Residential Code, your best bet is a 20-minute fire-rated, solid wood, solid steel or honeycomb core steel door. Many experts recommend the 20-minute fire-rated door, which has been tested to withstand flame penetration for at least that long. If you want more security, you could install a door with an even higher threshold.

Minimize the impact of a garage fire and other hazards

Along with installing a fire-rated door, follow these steps to ensure a garage fire doesn’t get out of control:

  • Try to have at least one step leading up to the door from the garage. Since gasoline and other fumes are heavier than air, they will collect at ground entry and the elevation increase will slow them down.
  • Seal your door tightly to prevent fumes that rise easily.
  • Choose a self-closing door. While it might be less convenient, it’s definitely safer than doors left ajar.
  • Keep in mind that if your door has a window, the glass should be fire-rated too.
  • Never install pet doors in fire-rated doors, as this will defeat the purpose.
  • Consider installing hard-wired heat sensors in your garage instead of regular smoke detectors, which can become ineffective in cold weather.

Once you’ve taken the important step of installing a fire-rated garage door, you’ll sleep better knowing you’ve done everything in your power to keep your home – and your loved ones – safe and sound.

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