By Mark van der Feyst
Many residential homes have an attached or detached garage. Either way, there are great dangers lurking inside the garage that we sometimes forget about. Some will be packed full of contents, which can be a blend of non-hazardous and hazardous materials. The congestion factor alone presents a hazard as there may be stuff piled high or above in the attic area. Depending upon the weight of the contents, this may present a collapse hazard.
Other items commonly found in garages that pose a danger to firefighters are portable gas cans, propane cylinders used for grills or camping, ammunition, chemicals for the home or pool, paint, aerosol cans and even automobiles. Any call for fire or smoke coming from a garage should be approached with caution, having these items in the back of our mind. It would not take much for a small fire to create a bigger problem such as a BLEVE from a propane cylinder.