Did you know the garage is one of the most hazardous areas in your house? Most minor and major accidents occur inside or around the garage, making it a highly accident-prone area.
Although the state laws strictly advise homeowners to adopt safety measures such as installing a modern garage door opener and sturdy door panels, many homeowners are careless about storing items in their garages. Much to your surprise, your garage may contain a host of hazardous substances like anti-freeze, flammable car lubricants, adhesive, paint cans, and sharp tools.
Without adhering to basic garage safety, you’re inviting a lot of trouble in the future. Your children and pets are more likely to stir trouble when they enter your garage, such as opening paint cans, spilling car lubricants, consuming harmful chemicals, and playing with sharp objects. To ensure that your children and pet remain safe when they accidentally enter your garage, start adopting basic garage safety measures.
Garage Safety Tips
Here are the ten most proven ways to ensure garage safety.
Improve Your Garage Lighting
Start with improving the garage lighting to make it easy for your children and pets to walk out of the garage without stepping on any sharp objects. Poor lighting is often the leading cause of most garage-related accidents. It’s often easy to lose small objects in a poorly lit area that can prove hazardous for small children and pets who often wander outside without shoes.
It’s an outdated concept to rely on just one or two incandescent light bulbs or a flickering fluorescent tube light. For lighting that reaches every corner without any adjustment, you should consider installing modern LED lights in order to make safe garage. Depending on the size of your garage, you can consider installing two or more LED lights. Most garage door openers come equipped with built-in garage lights that provide an additional source of brightness.
If you are looking for a garage look that you often see in the movies, LED shop lights are a great and practical choice. They provide sufficient brightness for a range of activities and cost much lesser than conventional light bulbs.
Remove Chemical Clutter
Most homeowners choose to store half-empty or a whole can of car lubricants, chemicals, solvents, and antifreeze in their garage. Not only is this harmful in case of fire, but it can also prove to be hazardous to your children when they accidentally consume it.
For most people, the garage partly acts as a storage unit where they store all kinds of fluids such as paints, lubricants, fuel, etc. Most fluids found in the garage tend to be highly flammable. Open liquid cans and spilled lubricants often attract pests and small animals who will seek shelter in your garage. It’s easy for children to step on it accidentally or slip and fall because of the slippery floor.
To ensure optimum safety, avoid storing chemical products haphazardly in your garage. If you need to store them, consider placing them inside a cabinet out of children’s reach. If you have excess fluid and decide to store it anyway, consider labeling them well before keeping them inside the cabinet.
Check for an expiration date before storing liquids because some may erode when placed in mismatched containers causing liquid or fume leaks. It can accidentally poison your children and pets, cause burns, respiratory problems, or invite other hazards. Dispose of old paints and chemical that isn’t of any use. It will help to free up space.
Fire Hazard Safety
Your garage contains some of the highly-flammable objects, including car lubricants, paints, chemicals, and vehicles. Your vehicle is a potential fire hazard.
Prepare to tackle a fire outbreak by installing a fire extinguisher. It’s an essential garage safety tip to install a fire extinguisher and remove fire hazards from your garage. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand’s reach inside the garage at all times.
Consider installing a heat detector alarm or smoke alarm to notify your family members in case of fire.
When you’re working on your car, such as painting it, consider switching off pilot lights before you begin working. Car paints contain flammable contents that can quickly come into contact with open fire. The natural gas water heater is an excellent example of a pilot light.
Improperly stored and fixed car jack can cause more accidents than any other objects inside the garage. Because of its attractive design, kids would often love to play with it. Even when setting up your car jack, make sure to supplement it with a set of quality ramps or axle ramps, so it doesn’t accidentally fall over you.
Never leave open car jacks inside your garage because your kids would love to climb and hang onto the ramp. Check your car jack for visible wear and tear, and replace it on time. Make sure it’s out of your children’s reach.
Ensure Storage Space is Well Anchored
Using a wall-mounted storage system saves up a lot of floor space. It also remains out of your children’s reach, which makes it a popular garage storage choice. The safety of overhead storage racks is just as important as any other part of the garage.
Ensure that your storage space handles the heavyweight capacities of the items you’re storing, such as car parts, old equipment, tools, paints, etc. Consider using an anchor to keep the garage storage systems in place. Wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted storages require anchors in earthquake-prone areas.
For example, if you’re storing your extra set of 17” winter or summer tires on a wall-mounted rack with a rim of 40-lb, you’d need to multiply that 4x to get the exact weight of the rack. A strong metal anchor is required to keep the wall-mounted rack in place.
Carbon Monoxide Exposure
It would be best if you think twice before leaving your car to warm up for a longer duration of time. The carbon monoxide from vehicle emissions doesn’t pose a health risk in small amounts, but in a large quantity, it can cause severe breathing and lung-related illness in the long run.
It’s a good idea to take your car outside on the driveway before leaving your vehicle idle for a long time. Also, make sure that you take your car outside during regular maintenance and repair. If you do it inside the garage, make sure it’s only done for a short time.
As an option, you can install carbon monoxide detectors in your garage to detect the safe level of carbon gas. It would be best if you prohibit your kids from entering the garage when you’re working on your car.
Store Sharp Tools Away
You wouldn’t want your kids and pets to fiddle with sharp objects like lawnmowers, grass forks, screwdrivers, blades, and cutting objects like knives or scissors.
It’s easy to leave sharp objects lying around in the garage after a long day of work. These items are abundantly found inside most garages which makes them hazardous places for kids.
To ensure safety for both you and your children, consider storing your power tools in a closet or safe chambers. Ensure any sharp yard tools or hand tools are covered and stored safely inside the closet, not to cut your finger when taking it out.
Start investing in a proper storage system in your garage that allows all of your yard tools to be stored in a safe and organized manner.
Inspect Garage Doors and Opener
Old garage door units and door openers can easily give in at times. Garage doors with out-of-the-place sensors are a severe hazard to children and pets. A garage door opener with poorly maintained screws and chains is equally dangerous!
To ensure garage door safety, consider doing frequent rounds of inspection every week.
- Inspect your garage door springs and cables for excessive wear and tear.
- Always keep the door opener remote out of your children’s reach
- Learn to use the emergency release handle for your garage door.
- Check that your garage door photo-eye sensors are correctly aligned, clean, and unobstructed.
- Maintain or replace faulty garage door parts quickly.
Replace Old Electrical Cords
Get rid of any old, frayed electrical cords from your garage. Inspect garage for electrical wires chewed by rats and replace them immediately to prevent fire outbreak.
Frayed electrical cords are both a fire hazard and a shock hazard. The electric shock can be life-threatening for small kids who often wander around without any shoes. A liquid spill such as car fuel can quickly contact naked wire to cause a fire.
Avoid overloading your garage with charging devices and extension cords. Install minimum electrical outputs on garage walls.
Clean Your Garage Regularly
Clean your garage regularly to remove garage clutter such as empty boxes, food crumbs, spilled lubricants, dead pests, and spider webs.
Items such as fertilizer, gasoline, and cleaning products can often attract pests and bugs. Ensure to lock these items inside in a closet or cabinet. Clean and polish the floor to remove traces of food debris and liquid spills.
Sweep up the spills, debris, and car fuel after work, so your children and pets do not accidentally consume it, making the garage safe for themFood debris often attracts pests such as silverfish, roaches, and rats. Prevent them from making your garage their home by adequately cleaning the nooks and corners.
Consider Polyaspartic floor coating for your garage floor for durability and maintenance -Polyaspartic floor has a higher resistance to household chemicals and abrasion damage. Always practice safety measures to keep your garage clean and hazard-free for your children at all times. Start treating the garage as your home space to make it a safe place for all family members.