If your current home or a house you are considering buying features a garage, you probably consider this space convenient and low-maintenance. While these advantages are true, remember that this space still requires inspections and upkeep.

Garage inspections

If you are looking to purchase a new home, hiring an inspection company to evaluate the state and condition of the structure is crucial. Realtor.com noted that while most buyers want to focus on the condition of kitchens, roofs and bathrooms, the garage is a particularly important space in any home.

"It's amazing how many things there are to look for," Steve Garcia, a home inspector from California, stated.

Garcia especially noted the importance of fire safety in the garage. Between storage, cars and faulty wiring, many home fires can start in a garage. During an inspection, it is important to look for safety features and possible dangers present in the space.

If you are currently living in a home with a garage, consider having an inspection company come into your home and look specifically for fire hazards and proper safety mechanisms. Firewalls are particularly important for this area.

Fire safety in your garage

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, fire containment is crucial for home security. Your garage, whether attached or unattached, can be at risk for fires due to the presence of flammable liquids, heaters and boilers. It is important to adhere to specific safety precautions because of these risks.

Garage doors should be thick, and it is often helpful to engineer the space so that one step, at minimum, leads from the garage to the home. In addition, these doors should be tightly sealed and shut automatically to ensure that fumes do not easily leak into your home. Pet doors and windows may also pose a danger if located in this part of the house.

Outside of having a home inspection to evaluate the wiring and overall safety of your garage, you can also do a few things to enhance the protective features in this space. Keep any and all chords taped down securely to ensure no one mistakenly pulls or twists them.  Keep clutter to a minimum and make sure that you properly store all chemicals and paints in your garage. It is also important not to plug too many electric chords into an outlet and to always use proper wattage when switching or changing light bulbs. 

Ensuring your home's security

Property crime and burglary can be detrimental to any homeowner. The garage offers criminals a point of entry they may be able to exploit, so keep it secure and ensure the rest of your home is also safe from this particular threat. Some general security tips to consider include:

  • Keeping a light on in your home at all times
  • Not advertising when you are out of town
  • Locking all doors and windows
  • Not keeping extra keys in easy-to-guess locations

In addition to having a home inspection and taking additional safety measures, homeowners with garages should ensure that their garage doors are properly maintained and provide protection. A-1 Garage Doors recommended having or installing a secure garage door. Any holes or weak spots in the door may put your home at risk for intrusion, and if you keep valuable possessions in this space of your home, cover up any garage windows or cover your valuables with tarps. 

While garages are convenient and relatively low maintenance, it is important to remember that they still require upkeep. In addition, having the space inspected by a professional can help ensure the safety and security of the space. Always make sure that you take the proper steps and precautions necessary to protect this part of your home.