December 18, 2015

Is Your Garage Safe? Five Ways to Minimize Potential Hazards

Warning Sign

Your garage accommodates lawn mowers and cars just fine. But with all the heavy equipment, dim lighting, and potentially dangerous chemicals, garages often present a significant health hazard to the humans inside them. Fortunately, by taking the right precautions, you can minimize the dangers to you and your family.

Read below to learn five ways that you can keep your garage safe.

1. Position Ladders Correctly

Ladders present additional dangers besides seven years bad luck. Even if you’re not the superstitious type, having a heavy ladder fall on top of you will seem very unfortunate.

To avoid falling ladders, make sure you position ladders horizontally when you store them instead of vertically. It might seem convenient in the moment to rest them upright against a wall, but the ladder could easily get bumped and tip over when you move things around in your garage. If you want to keep your ladder off the floor, use sturdy hooks to hang the ladder on the wall horizontally.

2. Declutter Your Garage

A cluttered garage causes additional problems. That pile of garden tools might trip you, and the stack of unmarked cardboard boxes in the corner might topple over as you shuffle through them to find your mother-in-law’s lawn decorations.

If your garage has become an unmanageable mess, don’t worry. Set aside some time to sort through the items-you can likely sell or donate many of the random or unused items you find. Now that you have fewer items to work with, invest in easy storage solutions like shelves and cabinets. Reorganize your garage with those new storage solutions, and your garage will be much easier to manage.

3. Check Your Chemicals

Many people store their toxic or flammable chemicals in the garage, so they will be safely out of the house. However, if you have kids or pets, you want to make sure that they aren’t at risk if they wander into the garage.

Ensure that chemicals are locked away or put out of reach, just like you would if you stored them inside your house. Don’t pour chemicals into makeshift containers that will erode over time. Instead, try to keep them in their original container if possible. Take particular care with combustible substances- don’t store them near appliances or tools that will spark.

4. Install Lighting

Most of the time, your trip to the garage will be quick. When you just need to walk from the door to your car, a single, dim overhead bulb might seem adequate. But when you’re poking around the back corner of your garage at night for your toolbox, you need more lighting.

With all the trip and fall hazards in your garage, you really shouldn’t skimp on lighting. Install additional light fixtures to ensure that every corner of the garage gets enough light. Consider mounting guards on your light bulbs as well. This way, you won’t bust bulbs on accident with the taller items stored in your garage.

5. Test Garage Door Reversers

Most automatic garage doors come with reversal systems to ensure that no one gets trapped or crushed beneath the door, but some injuries still occur. If a sensor is faulty, you might not notice the problem until disaster strikes.

If you check your garage door’s reversal system regularly, you’ll avoid learning that the sensors aren’t working the hard way. Use a sizeable block of wood or similar object to see if the sensor stops and reverses the garage door. If the sensor isn’t working, call a professional to fix the sensor or install a new system.

You might look at this entire list and feel a bit overwhelmed, but you don’t need to fix everything on this checklist in one giant cleaning spree. Instead, plan out your actions and create a garage safety checklist based on what your garage needs. Work on one checklist item at a time, and eventually your garage will be much safer for the entire family.

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