21 Garage Safety Tips

There’s more to garage safety than you might think. Hopefully you’ve already implemented many of these practices into your garage care routine, but odds are you’ll find something on the list below that can make your garage an even safer place to be. Take a look at our comprehensive list of 21 garage safety tips – divided by category so you can easily find information about your top garage safety concerns.

Organization

  1. Get rid of clutter and store remaining items in your garage neatly. Poorly stored items, if dangerously stacked, can fall – and boxes strewn around can be a tripping hazard.
  2. Cardboard boxes can deteriorate over time, and you don’t want one falling apart on you when taking it off the shelf! Whenever possible, store smaller items in durable plastic tubs with lids.
  3. Make sure organization systems are strong enough for what you’re storing, as well as properly anchored to the wallor ceiling, to avoid a storage avalanche.
  4. Store hazardous materials, such as fertilizer and pesticides, either in a locked cabinet or high enough to be out of the reach of children. This also goes for power tools and anything sharp.

Security

  1. Keep your garage door closed whenever possible, especially when you’re not home – and consider locking the door between the house and garage for extra security.
  2. Consider installingmotion sensor lights to discourage unwanted visitors at night. As an added bonus, these lights will come in handy for you too on those pre-dawn trips to put the garbage out for pick-up!
  3. Security system apps can give you remote access to the garage door opener to monitor and change door status if you forget to close it – providing peace of mind when you leave on a trip.

Fire Hazards

  1. Try not to store flammable materials in the garage. In general, they’re better off in a ventilated shed, away from sunlight and the rest of your house. If you don’t have that option, however, store in quantities as small as possible, away from electrical appliances and well labeled in original containers. Safely dispose of any hazardous materials you no longer need.
  2. Don’t overload electrical circuits, and ensure that your garage is wired properly.
  3. Clean up spills quickly, especially for flammable materials such as oil. Kitty litteris helpful to have on hand to absorb spills. (Cleaning up spills also helps to avoid slip and fall injuries and also applies to dry substances like sawdust.)
  4. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand (check storage temperature requirements for cold weather climates). Consider installing a garage smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector.
  5. Empty paper recycling bins frequently to avoid excess tinder in case of fire.
  6. Don’t store propane tanks in the garage.
  7. Properly extinguishany cigarettes or cigars.

Work and Projects

  1. Use safety goggles, a mask or any other recommended eye and face protection when working on car or construction projects.
  2. Install proper lighting to see projects and stored items clearly. Check that you’re using the correct lightbulb wattage to avoid overloading wiring.
  3. Don’t run the car, lawn mower or anything else using gas for too long in the garage – even with the door open – to avoid carbon monoxide buildup. While you can store grills in the garage, don’t grill there when the weather is bad; always use it outside.
  4. Keep a stepladder handy to reach tall shelves – jumping up to reach a box or climbing on a wobbly chair is an accident waiting to happen!

Maintenance and Everyday Life

  1. Ensure the garage floor is properly maintained, as cracks and loose chunks of concrete can be tripping hazards.
  2. Repair any wall cracks or other unintended openings as rodents and other small animals can slip inside and chew through wiring or make unwanted (and unsanitary) nests inside.
  3. Keep cars locked to discourage children from playing inside, and keep the emergency brake engaged when parked…just in case.

 

Now, go forth and apply your new garage safety knowledge – and don’t forget to share these tips with others!

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