When Considering Fire Safety, Don’t Forget the Garage


February 25, 2024




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(RENO, Nev.) — An early morning fire in a home near King’s Row was snuffed out by the resident’s alertness and the Reno Fire Department on Jan. 22. 

The fire on the 1200 block of Searchlite Court, reported by 2 News Nevada, started in the garage. Neighbor Doni Blackburn who shares a common garage wall with the house that caught fire told The Click that the fire originated in her neighbor’s garage, allegedly due to a faulty plug on her neighbor’s dryer. The Reno Fire Department has yet to confirm the cause of the fire.

Blackburn said that she and her husband were asleep at the time and began to smell something strange around three in the morning. “It woke me from a sound sleep, the smell.” She got up to look around her home to ensure everything was okay. Around 5 a.m., her husband went to the garage and mentioned to her that it was dusty, only later to find out it was smoke. When she heard the fire truck arrive, she ran outside where she saw her neighbor whose garage was in flames. 

Blackburn was happy to learn her neighbor was okay, along with her two cats. She added that she has smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in her home and is considering installing a smoke detector in her garage. 

To avoid a garage fire, Reno Fire Department Fire Marshal John Mandell recommends installing a heat detector in the garage to alert residents to a fire and sprinklers in the garage and dwelling spaces. A finished home can be modified quite easily, he told The Click. He also urges residents to install a proper fire-rated man-door (the entry door into the dwelling space from the garage) and avoid modifying it with a dog door as this would compromise its effectiveness in a fire.

Lastly, he said it’s always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher on hand if you are aware of a fire and can use it safely. For more tips, visit First Alert’s Garage Fire Safety Tips.

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