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Old 06-07-2019, 04:39 PM   #1
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Fires starting in the garage


Fires starting in the garage are also among the most destructive house fires. Garage fires tend to spread more rapidly than fires starting in other areas of the house, and they cause more property damage than other types of fires.


So why when the house and garage attached why is there no smoke alarm in the garage?
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:43 PM   #2
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


And CO detectors.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:13 PM   #3
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


I agree; I've thought of putting one in my garage. The only problem might be false alarms from auto exhaust. Also considered building some kind of garage cabinet for flammables.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:07 PM   #4
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


Why isn't there a CO detector that OPENS the garage door?
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:00 PM   #5
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


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Also considered building some kind of garage cabinet for flammables.
I actually have a couple in my garage already. One is a 2x2x3' high cabinet I got from a job I had working with the auto industry a LONG time ago. The other one is 6"x4'x4' that the prior owners left. (They actually left 2 and I gave one to the neighbors.

I use them for any kind of chemical from car care to spray paint lawn and garden chemicals. Anything hazardous for flammable.

Looking for them now, I guess I should have sold the one I gave away.

If you do go get to building one, which makes more sense, I would suggest wrapping it in 26 ga or heavier steel. I got that from something Neal posted in another thread. It had to do with ductwork sheetmetal going through a garage.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:50 PM   #6
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


I know four different people who had house fires and three of them started in the garage. One was a dumba$$ cleaning parts in a tub of gas with a space heater running but the other two were caused by electrical fires in cars parked in the garage.

Have to admit, it never occurred to me to put a smoke detector in the garage but it does make sense.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:43 PM   #7
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


We've had heat detectors (135 F) in the garages of our last 3 homes, they give a margin of safety without the risk of false alarms from a smoke detector in that area. I wonder how sensitive a CO detector is in relation to the amount of CO that a car emits when it's being started? I know many of them are very sensitive.

We also have a heat detector in the attic (185 F).
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:49 PM   #8
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


We should always have the door open when running the engines.

I like the automatic door opening idea.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:06 PM   #9
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


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Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
We've had heat detectors (135 F) in the garages of our last 3 homes, they give a margin of safety without the risk of false alarms from a smoke detector in that area. I wonder how sensitive a CO detector is in relation to the amount of CO that a car emits when it's being started? I know many of them are very sensitive.

We also have a heat detector in the attic (185 F).
Smokes and heats have a life span of 10 years. But I have seen smokes and heats still working after 20-25 years. Not a bad idea to put a vacuum hose up their once in a while.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:12 PM   #10
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


False alarms are free practice run to get the family out so you can develop a better plan for egress, they are a plus to have when no one has planned for it.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:48 AM   #11
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


Smoke detectors that last more than a couple years? Interesting to say the least.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:49 AM   #12
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


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Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
So why when the house and garage attached why is there no smoke alarm in the garage?
Filth and spiders wreak havoc with smoke alarms. That's why you rarely see them in garages.

Quote:
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False alarms are free practice run to get the family out so you can develop a better plan for egress, they are a plus to have when no one has planned for it.
Case in point:

We had smoke alarms in our garage at our last home, part of the ADT security system.

Spiders would get into the alarm and trigger false alarms.

We were on vacation, I got a call from the fire department. They were at my house, in front of the garage, and asked for permission to break the door down.

I asked if they could smell smoke? They said no.

I asked how long they had been there? 10 minutes

I told them I appreciated their efforts, but no, I did not want them to break the door down.

ADT fiddled with the alarm for about month after that and eventually we disarmed it.
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:11 AM   #13
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


CO detector in a garage would have to be specifically designed for garage use. They would have to be set to ignore huge spikes of CO from cars starting up cold for example.
Smoke sensors may be a problem as well. Tool operation, sweeping, etc. would give frequent false alarms. Also, a garage sensor would need to operate in more extreme temperatures (-20 to +120 deg F).
I do like the idea of a heat sensor. Would have to be wired so that the alarm went off inside living space as well since it might not be heard otherwise.
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:20 AM   #14
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


I have wondered the same thing. I think HenryMac gave the basic answer.


I find that Kidde (manufacturer) recommends:
The installation of heat alarms in attics, furnace rooms or garages is recommended, since these locations occasionally experience conditions that can result in improper operation of smoke alarms.


...which leads to the next question -- why aren't heat alarms required in garages? Maybe because of the high temps that can be reached in a garage. I bet my garage can hit 120 at certain times of the day in the summer. I can just imagine how hot it can reach in a Phoenix garage.

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Old 06-08-2019, 09:39 AM   #15
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Re: Fires starting in the garage


Some good ideas and thoughts above ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

At least, I have always had a smoke alarm in the garage. I do get a nuisance trip now and then when I'm doing something.... but it seems like a small inconvenience overall.

Unfortunately, my fire alarms are not inter-wired together, and I don't know an electrical fire in the garage would be heard well enough way back toward our bedrooms.

(I am not per-se a proponent of some of our code requirements, but it seems to me to be a very small cost and a significant safety advantage to code require new construction to have inter-wired systems INCLUDING the garage.)

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