Building Inspection Reports: What to Look For Regarding Fire Containment in Garages

Posted on: 18 May 2017


Garages need to have several fire containment measures so that any fire that begins in the garage doesn't quickly spread to the rest of the home. It is therefore important for you to read the building inspection report carefully so that you confirm that adequate measures were implemented to keep garage fires away from the rest of the house before you enter a new home. This article discusses some of the containment measures that the report should reveal.


The door that connects the garage to the rest of the house should be self-closing. It will be hard to leave such a door open accidentally. Consequently, no fire will spread rapidly if the door leading into the garage can never be left open accidentally. That door shouldn't have a pet door installed on it because the pet door can provide an avenue for the rapid spread of a fire. Any glass on the connecting door should also be fire-rated.

Ceilings and Walls

You should also read the sections of the inspection report that talk about the ceilings and walls of the garage. Confirm that all the drywall joints in the walls are sealed to keep any fumes from seeping into the rest of the house. Any opening in the ceiling should also be covered by a fire-resistant hatch cover. That cover should be fitted using hardware that prevents it from staying open when that hatch isn't being used. An example of such hardware is a spring-operated hinge.


All the duct penetrations through the garage walls should not leave any gaps or holes. Adequate sealing of the gaps prevents fires and fumes from crossing to the other sections of the house. The ducts in the garage should also be made from a strong material, such as steel, so that it will be hard for those ducts to melt due to the heat that is generated during a garage fire.


The floors of garages should slope towards the entrance of the garage. This is necessary because any spills will be directed out of the garage, rather than towards the interior of the home. Floor materials should not be flammable. Non-combustible materials include concrete.

Garages pose several fire risks, such as the risk that a fire will break out when fuel leaks from cars ignite. It is therefore very important for you to be sure that every possible measure has been taken to contain any fire that starts within the garage. Ask a building inspector to explain any of the fire-containment shortcomings that are captured in his or her report so that you can take remedial measures before you occupy that home.