Having a well maintained garage on your property, whether it is attached or detached, brings a plethora of benefits with it including increased living space, storage and an elevated resale value on your home. Although the list of advantages is long, there are also a few dangers that can be found lurking in your garage that you must be aware of.
The Alpha Doors team has put together a list of the most common dangers a homeowner may encounter in their garage. Read on to keep your home and family safe!
The Garage Door
The actual entrance to your garage can be one of the most dangerous aspects of your property if improperly handled. This particular hazard is extremely relevant if you often have young family members around your home. As the homeowner, it is your duty to educate any adolescents on garage door safety, conveying the message that the door is a tool and should not be “played with” by anyone.
Ensure children keep their distance when the door is opening and closing as the moving pieces of a garage door unit can pull and latch onto clothing, hair and even fingers. Most modern garage doors come with sensors to stop the door from closing on a person, however malfunctions can occur which could be devastating.
Aside from a door closing or falling on a small child, one of the most dangerous aspects of a garage door is the process of fixing it. If your garage door has a broken spring, roller, or is off track, the likelihood of garage related injuries increases dramatically. The springs in particular can be absolutely deadly if handled improperly. If you are not educated on the mechanics of a garage door, any maintenance should be left to the experts for your own safety.
You can read all about the dangers of fixing garage door tension springs in our recent blog article, HERE.
Store Tall Items Such as Ladders Horizontally
When most people put ladders away, their natural inclination is to store them in the same manner that they are utilized-vertically. A very common injury in garages results from a tall object, such as a ladder, falling on a passerby. Ladders can be particularly troublesome around children as they will be tempted to climb high up the steps; that is a game that does not end very well.
Ladders should be placed horizontally along the ground, or be held securely on the ceiling. Storing items on the ceiling of your garage can be a great space saver, however you must be sure to properly install the storage unit in a safe manner. Improper ceiling storage units can quickly become a liability in your garage instead of an asset, so if you are unsure, consult with an expert!
Improper Electrical Tool Use
Many homeowners use their garage as a workspace for home improvement projects, which is perfectly fine, except when the space is left looking like a lumber yard. Dangerous tools such as drills and saws need to be unplugged and stored in a safe location after being used. The original operator of a table saw may understand that the tool is live, however when the next person walks through the garage they could be unaware and stumble into a disastrous situation.
Another mistake many homeowner make is utilizing electrical equipment that is not suitable for outdoor environments. Any tools, cables, or cords that you wish to use in your garage should be waterproof, as the typical garage environment tends to become saturated often, especially during car washing season. An indoor cord in an “outdoor situation” could lead to increased risks for electrical injuries.
Hazardous Material Storage Mistakes
Bringing dangerous chemicals and substances into the home environment is often necessary for home renovations and maintenance. The majority of these hazardous materials can usually be found in the garage, such as gasoline for the lawn mower, old paint cans and fertilizer for the yard. Although the garage is often the most suitable location to store these materials, they must be kept in a safe location. If a container or package holds a poisonous, combustible, or flammable material, it needs to be a lockable unit that is sound, such as a metal cabinet.
It is important to note the location of storage as well. Dangerous materials should be kept away from major sources of heat and electricity, such as hot-water heaters and generators. Do you have any piles of clothing, oily rags, or old newspapers in your garage? These items, when combined with hazards materials, can become extreme fire hazards within minutes.
The environment of your garage does not have to be a dangerous one. If you keep these four tips in mind, your family and friends will be much safer. Commit to making your garage a safer space and enjoy the all the benefits that come with it, without any of the risks! Call us today to have a service done to ensure your garage is working properly.