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Avoid Fire! Store your flammables with caution!

Submitted by on Friday, 23 March 2012No Comment

by Michigan Fire Claims Inc., a Public Adjuster Company, Rochester Hills, MI

Improperly stored flammable substances are at the origin of many devastating home fires, and should be store and handled with the greatest care. Too often we see people’s homes and lives destroyed by fires originating from the gas cans, propane canisters and other containers with flammable substances.

If you’re like most of us here in Michigan, chances are, you have at least one gas can in your garage that you use periodically to fill up your lawnmower, chainsaw, ATV, or for when the nth time this year, your teenager got stranded on the road since he forgot to fill up. You may also have propane tanks for your grill, paint thinners from your remodeling projects, and a variety of flammable solvents.

While they may not look particularly dangerous at first sight, all of the above can start a destructive fire in seconds.

As Ben Franklin once man said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We believe, when it comes to fires, an once of prevention is worth a ton of cure. It doesn’t take much to keep your home and family safe. Here are some tips on safely storing your flammables:

  • Store gas and propane only in containers specially designed for this purpose. Make sure the containers are in a good shape, without cracks, rust spots or holes.
  • Close caps tightly and store away from direct sun, heat sources and electrical wiring.
  • If you can smell gas, propane or solvents in your garage or home, it means that the containers are not properly closed and the substance is evaporating. Do not ignore it if you can’t immediately locate the source of the smell;
  • If you have a car or other gas powered vehicle in your garage that you are using only rarely, don’t fill up the tank. Leave the tank nearly empty and fill it only when you take it for a ride.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher in your home, and make sure it’s functional and ready to go – the gauge on its side should be green. Check it periodically.
  • Check your smoke alarm batteries, especially in colder places, such as the garage or the basement. Batteries tend to last less in such places. Check your batteries every two or three months to make sure they are still working.
  • If you have elder parents, relatives, and friends, remember their olfactory senses may not be as acute anymore. Look out for them too!

Take care, and stay safe!

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