You probably already know you need to keep your home’s living areas safe from burglaries by taking preventive measures. But have you thought much about the safety of your garage?
At SafeStreets, we want to help keep your family safe at home through good safety habits and a home security system. And we include your garage in that “big picture” description of being safe and sound at home. After all, you might not sleep or eat in it, but you definitely spend time in it working on projects, and you count on your garage for storage too.
So let’s make sure that the extension of your home is as safe as your home with a quick review of the dangers you’ll want to be aware of and avoid.
Is there anything as combustible as a garage? Just think through all of the flammable materials stored there including oil, paint thinner, paint, lawn care chemicals, and oily rags. There’s also sawdust and lumber that easily can catch fire on top of all of the incendiary items. So fire prevention should be high on the garage safety list. You can start with these three simple preventive measures:
- Make sure your garage is equipped with a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher. You can contact SafeStreets for the installation of smoke detectors for both your home and garage.
- Keep tight lids on all chemicals and flammable materials, and keep them in their original containers.
- Store chemicals and flammable materials safely and securely to decrease the chances of something getting knocked over or spilled.
Store Items Smartly
Most people use their garages as storage areas, especially if they don’t have a basement. Storage, though, is a safety issue in your garage for a few reasons. One is the fire hazard mentioned above, but the other more likely safety issue is injury, either from things falling on your head or on your toes.
To prevent this, it’s important not to stack items too high. If you’re using shelving, make sure it’s sturdy. If you’re using overhead storage, make sure it’s strong. Think safety over convenience or cost when you’re investing in garage storage. This will save yourself or a family member from an injury and will make the investment worthwhile.
Also, think through the storage so anything you need on a regular basis – like a weed eater – is easy to access, while the seasonal items such as holiday decorations can be stored in a harder-to-access location. Practice the same principle for anything dangerous.
Good Habits to Practice
Even with all the right fire prevention measures in place and the fanciest garage storage unit in use, your habits will still matter when it comes to garage safety. Give your garage a little more thought when you’re using it. With safety always top of mind, you’ll get into good habits that keep you and your family safe. For example:
- Clean up after yourself after cutting wood so you’re not leaving sawdust or little pieces of wood lying around as a fire starter.
- Resist the urge to pile up storage “just for now,” thinking you’ll get around to putting something away safely and properly later. There’s a good chance “later” will never happen.
- Lock doors to not only keep burglars out, but kids too, especially if you don’t have dangerous tools and materials locked up and out of reach.
- Pick up anything that might be a tripping hazard, such as hoses, extension cords, tools you’re not using, containers of old oil – even those items you’re saving to put away “later.” Try really hard not to store or leave anything on the floor.
- Always have a clear path in and out of the garage. I know that sometimes the piling up is going to happen. But don’t pile in such a way that you’re having to clamber over stuff to get in or out of the garage.
Contact SafeStreets for Fire and Life Safety Equipment
Garages are a blessing for busy families for many reasons, and storage and a place for projects are high on that list. However, they can also pose a threat if not managed in a safety-first way. So let’s take a few preventive measures to make sure our garages are a place we can appreciate, not avoid. If you need a fire detection system installed in your garage, don’t hesitate to contact SafeStreets today.