Garage Fire caused by Golf Cart
Recently, SERVPRO responded to a residential house fire in the area that was started by a golf cart. The initial fire started in the garage of the home where the golf cart was charging. SERVPRO was able to respond to the call in a timely manner and assess and repair damage done to the home’s garage as well as interior. In this particular case the fire caused structural damage to the garage, but SERVPRO was also called in to clean the interior as well where soot from the fire had spread.
Golf cart owners may not realize it, but their golf carts can be a hazard if they are charging them inside a garage. This is due to the batteries in the cart, particularly older ones that emit hydrogen, an odorless, colorless gas that is highly flammable. When hydrogen levels reach 4-7%, it becomes explosive. Periodically the battery needs to be filled with distilled water in order to prevent hydrogen gas from forming and create the conditions for an explosion or fire. With hydrogen present, anything in the garage such as the door switch or garage light can create a spark to fuel an explosion.
Below are some tips to prevent golf cart fires:
- Read and follow all instructions/warnings from the manufacturer
- Only use the electrical cords and battery charger designated for the golf cart
- Charge in an open, ventilated area
- Regularly check for damage to and/or leaks in the battery
- Set up a timer that controls when the battery is charged and disconnect
- Make sure a smoke and carbon monoxide detector is installed in the home