Garage fires increase during colder weather - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Garage fires increase during colder weather

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Now is the time of year, many of us will be pulling our cars into the garage at night, but just how safe is your garage?

A recent fire in Cedar Falls is raising a lot of questions.

Firefighters say oil rags bunched up together in the garage spontaneously combusted, setting the garage on fire.

The fire spread quickly to the home.

Roughly 6,600 garage fires happen every year, resulting in 30 deaths per year.

Luckily, everyone got out of Monday's fire OK, but now is a good reminder to check your garage.

Any sort of regular household items can cause garage fires.

"A lot of people don't know the chemistry of fire, and many things can happen," said Captain Rob Inouye with the Cedar Falls Fire Department.

That's why he says if you use rags for any household chore, make sure they're dry and spread out, or they could spontaneously combust.

As for flammable liquids, propane or gas, put them somewhere safe.

"If you have the ability, put them in the shed," said Inouye.

As for simple garage items like extension cords, make sure they're not frayed.

Be mindful of space heaters overheating too.

Heat alarms also come equipped for garages.

You can find more information on them here: http://www.usfa.fema.gov

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