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Five Fire Safety Tips for People Who Weld in Their Garages

If you plan to do any welding in your garage, you are going to be producing a lot of sparks in a relatively small space. To ensure you don't burn down your garage or the rest of your home, you need to take some fire safety precautions. Here are some tips to help:

1. Remove dangerous combustible items.

Before you start welding, reduce the risk of fire by removing anything combustible from your garage. This includes cans of petrol, paint thinner or other potential explosives, but it also includes old piles of sawdust, leaves that have collected in the corners and similar items.

2. Surround the area with welding curtains.

Even if you have removed most of the biggest fire risks from your garage, there are still things that may catch on fire. To reduce that risk, surround your work area with welding curtains. You can buy screens on frames that you scatter around your work area, or you can also find drapes that you can hang from the ceiling.

3. Have fire extinguishers in the garage.

Although you've taken multiple steps to prevent fires, you also have to be prepared in case one starts. To that end, consider installing multiple fire extinguishers in your garage. There are four main types of fire extinguishers. Type A works on paper, wood and other combustible solids, while B works on oil and combustible liquids. C works on electrical fires, and B is for combustible metals. Ideally, for welding, you want an extinguisher that has all four ratings, A, B, C and D.

Hang your fire extinguishers in a spot that's easy to access. In most cases, you want at least one fire extinguisher by your door. That way, you can spray the fire as you back out of the door. Once you invest in the extinguishers, however, remember to make sure that they are up to date, and replace them as needed.

4. Use fire blankets and water buckets.

In some cases, it may be easier to smother a fire with a fire suppression blanket or to put it out with water. So that's possible, you should always fill up a water bucket and have it nearby while welding. Similarly, have some fire blankets on hand.

5. Check the area after welding.

When you are done welding, check the area thoroughly to ensure no sparks have escaped and that there are no smoldering fires. Finally, install a fire alarm in your garage. Ideally, you want one that senses smoldering fires as well as smoke.