Hidden Dangers in Your Garage and How to Fix Them

Even a well-meaning homeowner’s garage can end up being a dumping ground for all the items you don’t want in the house. When was the last time you took a good look at what’s out there? An over-crowded garage not only prevents you from parking your car, but also presents hazards for your family and pets.

Common household items like rakes, extension cords, and soccer balls might make you trip. Inadequate lighting may lead to falls on the stairs. Chemicals can lead to accidental poisonings.

Here are some practical tips to keep you and your family safe.

Slip and Fall Hazards

  • Install a handrail on both sides of stairs
  • Mark stairs with reflective tape
  • Remove oily, slippery spills with a sorbent or cat litter
  • Soccer balls everywhere? Gather all of them in a net bag that can be hung on a wall
  • Use reels for cords and hoses

Chemicals, Poisons, and Hazardous Materials

  • Keep liquids in their original containers. Do not transfer to old food containers or soda bottles
  • Lock chemicals (auto fluids, pesticides, paints, lighter fluid, pool products, paint thinners) in a cabinet, according to manufacturer instructions and your local/state regulations
  • If you store your gas grill in the garage, leave the propane tank outside
  • Need to add gas to the lawn mower? Take it outside first to prevent gas from spilling on the floor
  • Do not store gasoline in the same space as equipment with a pilot light

Poor Lighting

  • Garages often lack windows and rely on overhead lighting. That, however, produces dark corners. Ensure proper lighting, especially over stairs
  • Promptly replace burned-out bulbs
  • Install metal or plastic cages around light bulbs

Ladders

  • Lay any ladders horizontally against a wall or hang them securely on the wall. This will also discourage children from climbing them

Falling Objects

  • Replace unlevel, broken, or improperly-installed shelving immediately
  • Do not overload shelves
  • Are seasonal toys and sporting goods stored up high? That may inspire children to stand on unsteady boxes or climb to get them. Use clear totes and keep at your child’s eye level

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