Garages are often used to store vehicles, tools, chemicals, decorations and other miscellaneous items. For those with young, curious kids, the garage can appear to be a treasure trove of fun and adventure, and this has the potential to result in injuries. Our handy list below will help you identify the hazards in your garage and help you to minimize the risks.
- Power tools – these should be stored in locked closets or cabinets, with the batteries removed and kept separate.
- Carbon Monoxide – Carbon monoxide is called the ‘silent killer’ due to it being colorless, tasteless and odorless, meaning that without a detector you would not realise you are breathing it in and being poisoned. Carbon monoxide is formed when fossil fuels are burned in areas which lack enough oxygen. If you are operating any machinery that operates off fossil fuels, install a carbon monoxide detector to ensure you know if carbon monoxide is being formed. It is also recommended that you improve the air circulation in your garage, either by installing an air conditioner or installing windows which open.
- Sharp tools – sharp tools present a cutting hazard. A slatwall storage system is a good method for keeping these tools out of harm’s way, whilst maintaining a neat and organised garage.
- Darkness – some garages can be poorly lit, often having only 1 bulb in the center of the garage to provide light to the entire area. Install additional lighting in the garage to ensure all areas are well lit and help prevent any accidents.
- Tripping hazards – Building upon the last hazard, clutter can be a tripping hazard. Invest in storage shelves and storage bins and get that junk off the floor. The more items on the floor the more chance there is of an accident.
- Chemical – cleaning products, fertilizer and old paint cans can be toxic if inhaled / consumed. These products should either be kept in locked closets / cabinets, or they should be correctly disposed of.
- Garage door – rusty or damaged door springs and electric openers can pose a hazard. If they break the door may come down and cause injury. Keep springs well lubricated and electric openers serviced regularly.
- Fire – Garages often contain lots of flammable material, including fuel, fertilizer, wood, and clothing. To minimize this fire risk, keep a fire extinguisher and sand bucket in the garage, and reduce the amount of flammable materials stored in there.
- Water – Rainwater can enter garages through the gap underneath the door. This can be a slipping and an electrical hazard. Invest in a quality garage door threshold seal which can keep rainwater, leaves, debris and vermin out.
Whilst these are the main hazards which can appear in a garage, you should carefully consider your garage and the items contained within to make sure there are no more potential hazards and take steps to minimize the risk posed.