According to the Home Safety Council, more than 21 million injuries occur in the home each year – injuries severe enough to require medical attention. And a disproportionate number of those injuries occur within garages. That’s because garages tend to be dangerous places.
But your garage doesn’t have to be a dangerous place. It could be, and in fact should be, quite safe. Why not run through the HSC’s garage safety checklist below to see whether your garage is safe?
- Keep things organized. Don’t let large piles of ‘stuff’ accumulate, and organize storage so that everything is in designated, easy-to-reach places.
- Store large and sharp objects (bikes, lawn chairs, shovels, rakes, etc.) on the wall where they won’t cause trips and falls.
- Keep the floor clear of grease, oil and other spills that might cause slips and falls.
- Dedicate and designate an area for children’s playthings to help keep kids away from potentially dangerous areas of the garage.
- Be sure that your garage is well and brightly lit.
- Place guards around light bulbs to prevent accidental breakage and possible fires.
- Be sure that any stair steps leading to the garage are well lit and provided with securely attached handrails.
- Keep poisonous items – including pesticides and automotive fluids – on a high shelf away from children or pets, or in a locked storage cabinet.
- Avoid the use of electrical generators and barbeque grills inside the garage. They present a risk both from fire and from carbon monoxide.
- Be sure your garage has a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector.
- Never leave a car running inside your garage – even with the garage door open. The accumulation of carbon monoxide within the garage creates a deadly hazard.
- Be careful about storing gasoline in the garage. Store only small quantities, and in clearly labeled, tightly sealed containers. And if you have an appliance in your garage with a pilot light, don’t store gasoline in your garage in any quantity.
- Keep a fire extinguisher and first aid kit in the garage. Make certain that everyone in your family knows where they are and how to use them.
- If you store pool maintenance chemicals in your garage, be sure that you’re storing them according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Check periodically that you’re not overloading electrical outlets – particularly those that supply extension cords.
- Electrical supply boxes should be locked to prevent access by children.
- Check to be sure that wall shelving is securely attached and not overloaded.
- Don’t allow dust and debris to accumulate in your garage.
How Did Your Garage Check Out?
Are you in good shape according to the checklist? Or does your garage need some work? If work is needed, don’t put it off. Garages really can be very dangerous places. You don’t want to contribute to the statistics that prove that unfortunate fact.
And if you’d like a little help getting your garage to the point of checking out A-OK, give us a call. That’s what we’re here for.