This summer, protect your shed from fire with preparation and prevention. Here we outline the main causes of fires and what you can do to protect your shed this fire season. Minimise the chance of fire damaging your garden shed with these useful tips.
In Australia, summer means the threat of bushfires. As the threat level rises, take precaution by reducing the flammable materials that are stored in your shed.
Embers from bushfires are easily blown by hot winds and can slip through any gaps and cracks in your shed. Moving the flammable materials out will prevent embers from finding a fuel source and setting your shed alight.
You can also add weather stripping to the sides of your shed doors and windows so that embers can’t get through.
You should also regularly inspect and clean out your roof and gutters. Leaves are one of the more common sources of combustible material - installing leaf guards will help prevent any build-up.
Lastly, try to keep firewood away from your shed and your home, as an added precaution.
Zincalume or Colorbond garden sheds are great investments because they will not burn. However, they will heat up: meaning a fire can turn them into an oven and can destroy the contents of your shed. Make sure to follow these tips to prevent extensive damage during fire season.
Improper Fuel Storage
Storing fuel inside your shed can be safe if you take appropriate measures. Improper fuel storage can result in fuel fires, and a dangerous situation should a fire break out near your shed.
Use quality metal containers with a working seal when storing fuel. You can use plastic containers, as long as they comply with AS/NSZ 2906:2001. These can typically be found at your local hardware and auto parts store. Label all your containers clearly and accurately.
Store your containers in well-ventilated areas of your garden shed. Keep them away from ignition sources such as open flames or sparks coming from your tools. Avoid placing them near combustible materials and fertilisers too.
The recommended volume for storing fuel is no more than a total of 250 litres on a single site. Your individual fuel containers should not exceed 30 litres.
Here is a PDF guide from the Queensland Government’s Department of Education and Training that describes in detail the precautions that you should follow to minimise the chance of fuel fires.
Direct sunlight can sometimes lead to combustion. Garden shed skylights and windows can channel the sun’s heat which can create high temperatures inside your shed.
Installing blinds or shades to your windows will help negate the sun’s effects. Covering your skylights with non-combustible materials is another step you can take to protect your shed’s contents from the heat of the sun.
To know if the temperature inside your shed is dangerously high, you can purchase a heat alarm. Unlike smoke alarms, heat alarms will alert you once the temperatures in your shed can potentially cause a fire.
Electrical Fires from Appliances
When sparks from your tools react with flammable and combustible materials, they can cause a fire. Be sure to keep flammable and combustible materials away from your electrical equipment.
You should also avoid using extension cords when charging your tools and devices. Refrain from using multiple extension cords or powerboards to prevent them from becoming fire hazards.
Keep your property tidy and organised
Protect your shed and your property from fire by cleaning any dry, flammable materials from around your garden.
Cut back trees and shrubs that overhang the shed and the house, and mow your lawn very short. It will be less likely to catch a spark and will look nice and neat too. And don’t forget to move the gas bottle from your BBQ out of the heat.
If you need a Zincalume or Colorbond garden shed, look no further than an EasyShed. While steel is not 100% fireproof, a steel shed is safer than any other type of shed. Have a look at our steel garden sheds on SALE here.