9 Safety Issues That You Need To Take Care While Working In Garage
Almost everyone has a garage in their houses, it’s nearly a necessity to not only safeguard our cars but a wide array of other items.
From power tools to fuel, decorative items that are broken, defective devices and appliances, plus many other objects – a garage can be the storage room for many houses as well.
Apart from that, garages are some of the places that people tend to forget to take care of in their houses. Most homeowners want to keep their living, diner, kitchen, and bedrooms neat, but sometimes, not their garages.
Following the possible neglect of garages and the frequent use of them as storerooms, here we are going to talk about all the safety issues you can encounter inside.
If you have a garage that’s too full or just looks terrible and possibly dangerous, this article will help you fix it. Take a look further and learn!
Safety Tips and Checklist While Working In The Garage
01. Electrical Issues & Faulty Wiring
Most electrical issues in a garage can escalate to being potential fire hazards or danger to the inhabitants of the household. It is actually the most common cause of fires in houses; faulty wiring can be pretty dangerous if it is not fixed in time.
The problem with wiring and electrical issues in garages is that they can happen for years without the owner never realizing it can pose a threat. And what’s worse, they can eventually fire up even the smallest piece of cardboard or flammable liquid in the garage so fires can happen really fast.
This mostly occurs in old houses, but it is still very common in all kinds of living interiors. If you think there’s a probable issue with the electrical system in your house’s garage, then make sure to check before it’s too late.
Here are a few signs of a faulty electrical system you should check & fix fast;
- Short circuits or sparks from outlets & wires
- Overloaded outlets turning on and off unexpectedly
- Extension cords laying around connected without proper care
- Broken wires or electrical connections
- Defective light bulbs
Electrical problems also happen when there are mice or rats chewing on cables. It may also be due to water leaks or improper construction of walls & roofs.
If you can check your whole garage in search of any of these things, you may eventually fix your electrical issues before anything happens.
02. Garage Doors
Over the years, these doors improved exponentially to the point of becoming automatic and almost the safest product you could get, but without proper maintenance, they can become dangers.
A garage door may not malfunction too commonly, but when it does, it can eventually become one of the most dangerous things at home. So it’s important to keep it working well, or you may face probable injuries while using it or not.
Children, in particular, are very vulnerable to garage doors. Thinking it can be used as a toy or just letting your child use the remote control over and over may eventually make him/her think about it as something safe & easy to use. But without care, it can become a considerable hazard.
Another essential thing to consider is that garage doors are a huge entry point for people and outside factors. Leaving your garage door open may eventually let burglars in, or rain, winds, and other weather factors that could damage your garage and the things inside.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent all these probable garage issues;
- Make constant maintenance to the garage door every six months or twice a year
- Never let kids manage garage door unless necessary (emphasize that garage doors are not toys)
- Use a padlock to secure the door when not using to prevent it from opening
- Keep your garage doors closed at all times when not using them
- Always let the door open entirely before entering your garage
All these tips will help to maintain your garage door working correctly and safe for everyone at home, including other objects and even the vehicle. And of course, it will avoid any unwanted visit.
03. Unsafe for Children
A garage is not a place for children to be at. Not only because a garage door, for example, can be dangerous if it’s not used correctly, but also because all the things inside a garage may be hazardous.
Things like chemical substances, flammable fluids, heavy objects, power tools, gardening tools, and much more – can put a child in great danger easily. So, it is not only essential to keep it close, but also to keep some organization inside while storing hazardous objects & liquids well enough.
As long as you maintain your children away from the garage, there won’t be any problem. But if you get to use the garage as a playground or any kind of entertainment for your kids, follow these tips to make it safe;
- Store anything toxic or sharp that could be dangerous for children. Keep them far from their reach.
- Keep the garage clean and free of any dust, debris, dirt, non-drinkable water or toxic liquids and flammable stuff.
- Lock all cabinets and vaults with tools or dangerous stuff.
- Maintain large objects secure and attach to things so they can’t fall or be moved by children.
- Make sure the car or vehicle inside is not hot or warm after being used. And never use the car with children inside the garage.
Do this, and you’ll be able to make a garage a safe place for children. Still, we recommend keeping children away from it as much as possible.
04. Garage Clutter
Millions of people around the world tend to use a garage not only as the place to store vehicles but also a place to store everything that doesn’t look or fit inside the house. Many garages around the world look like trash piles, with boxes and single items piled up creating stacks of clutter that can be difficult to get rid of.
While clutter is mostly safe, it is still possible to find it a great danger in many cases. This could not only make someone trip and fall with an unnecessary disorder, but it may also put different chemicals or objects together that shouldn’t be. Of course, this could produce fires and or damage the artifacts.
That’s why it is essential always to keep your garage in order. The following tips can help you do it more easily;
- Keep all objects, boxes, vaults, racks, and cabinets away from the space where the car is parked. The farthest the better.
- Separate items by categories. Auto supplies and components should be together. Household and cleaning should be close. And any decoration should be alongside other decoration and so on. The more organized the garage is, the better.
- Use organization furniture’s such as storage racks, slat walls, cabinets, vaults, and others. Reduce clutter by organizing them inside.
- Get rid of everything that’s either not useful or broken. Try to don’t store things because “I’m going to fix it later.” It’s better to just dispose of it and buy a new one instead of letting standing for years without any purpose.
Doing all these things will help you keep clutter inside your garage in check. It’s almost obvious that it should be done this way, but it’s still great to highlight it.
05. Tripping & Slipping Hazards
Many of the things you store inside the garage may eventually make homeowners slip and trip inside. This could end up in hazardous situations and sometimes even be life-threatening. So, keeping your garage clean of any liquid or material that could cause anyone from falling is an ideal choice.
Things such as oil and gasoline from vehicles can be pretty dangerous, especially when the owner doesn’t clean them every day. Other stuff like melted snow can also be a hazard. And let’s not forget small objects or too much clutter can also make someone fall.
To prevent tripping, slipping or just falling inside your garage, you can consider the following tips;
- Fix oil or gas leaks from your car at the first sign of one. Don’t let your garage get flooded with any slippage-inducing or flammable fluid from your vehicle.
- Keep them organized to prevent any tripping when walking around the garage. Follow previous points for ideas.
- Clean your garage floor at least once a week to prevent any probable issue. Remember to also clean whenever you pour or spill a toxic/flammable liquid fall by mistake.
- Use a floor coating solution that not only helps to maintain the floor clean but also to protect it from any chemical or toxic fluid like oil or gas.
- Try to install or make a grip-oriented floor surface that prevents slippage or tripping.
While it’s not very common, it still happens that people get severe wounds or injuries from falling in their garages. If you want to prevent this, these tips will help you enormously.
06. Improper Storage of Combustibles
It is an almost obvious thing to consider, but many people tend to dismiss it. Storing any combustible liquid or material can be pretty dangerous, doesn’t matter what it is. From solvents to propane, gasoline, oil or simple gardening products can induce fires easily.
Things like fertilizers, pesticides, paints, and many more, are usually found in the garages of many houses. While this is not really wrong, it is important to keep all these fluids and materials as safe as possible inside.
You don’t know when any flammable product may eventually be close to a spark or other combustible product and create a fire by mistake. For this and many other similar dangers, it is important to always store combustibles in the right place.
The following tips will help you prevent fires from improperly storing flammable materials;
- Store all flammable materials or liquids as well as combustion tools in well-ventilated areas
- Keep fluids in their original containers and as tight as possible to prevent leaks.
- Replace containers that leak or that have any issue closing or keeping liquids inside.
- Try to store different flammable liquids apart from each other to prevent unwanted chemical reactions.
- Maintain all heat sources away from flammable products. Things like heaters, appliances, and even sunlight can produce fire in seconds.
- Never store propane or gas tanks inside garages. Keep them in well-ventilated areas, outdoors places if possible.
- Dispose of any chemical or flammable material that’s too old or expired. Liquids especially tend to become dangerous when they’re expired.
All these tips will keep your garage in check and free of fires. Consider keeping a fire extinguisher close as well, especially if you tend to stay flammable things inside either for work or just storage.
07. Improper Storage of Hazardous Waste
A garage is not a place to store trash or toxic waste. But for some people, it may work this way. Still, it is necessary to know that this type of application for a room such as a garage can be pretty damaging, especially when we talk about something that’s flammable or that emits toxic gasses.
Here we could be talking about antifreeze, brake fluid, used gas and oils, battery acid, expired paint, oil paint, tires, general garbage, and even animal excrement, plus many other waste products. All of these and any other that fits the hazardous waste characteristics need to be appropriately stored or disposed of as soon as possible.
The next strategies for hazardous waste disposal & storage can be useful;
- Instead of storing liquids such as oils for brakes and suspension, try to recycle it or give it to someone who does.
- Maintain garbage bags or similar containers inside even bigger containers. Make sure they aren’t in the reach of children and animals and get sure the thrash inside doesn’t even get out or leaks.
- Never keep any oil or paint in your garage for more time than its expiration date says. As soon as the product is due and too old for use, dispose of it or give it to someone who can recycle it.
- Pour gas, oils and other hazardous liquids inside a plastic container with cat litter. This will help to prevent combustion and prevent gasses from going out.
- Dispose or give away any vehicle battery that doesn’t work. If you can fix it, don’t let it stay for more than three months inside.
- Get rid of any waste that you’re not using or not going to use soon. That it looks safe doesn’t mean it is. Dispose of it before it’s too late.
All these strategies will help to keep your garage free of any chemical or hazardous waste. So you will be doing well by preventing as many bad happenings as possible.
08. Carbon Monoxide & Harmful Gasses
In garages, the fumes from vehicles can produce carbon monoxide, which is one of the most toxic gasses out there. But this is not only from cars, but it could also come from anything that uses gasoline or petroleum-based fuels such as generators, water heaters, and many other appliances.
Other stuff such as oils, paints, pesticides, and fertilizers can also produce harmful gases if stored improperly. So apart from keeping the garage free of monoxide, you may also have to keep it free from harmful gasses of a wide array of products.
All these gases tend to stick to walls, travel across ventilation systems, and eventually impregnate all your house. This becomes harmful for all the inhabitants and may even put the house in fire danger.
To prevent all of this, we recommend doing the following;
- Install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in your garage and at least two more around the house. This will help to keep your home free of this damaging gas.
- Never start your car inside your garage when the door is closed, and there’s no ventilation. Always open the door first and don’t let the car running for more than 5 minutes inside.
- Keep any chemical or material that could emit gases well stored inside cabinets or vaults. Otherwise, dispose of it once it starts to smell weird before it becomes damaging.
Do all these three things, and you will maintain your garage free of harmful gasses. You won’t have to breathe hard after making sure no hazardous gas is inside.
09. Carelessness or Improper Activities
Lastly, you can consider never using the garage for anything for what a garage is not made for. Almost all garages are built only for storing your car and keeping it safe. It is not a place to store anything else, or at least not a thing that is flammable or possibly dangerous.
If you can keep all the flammable things in an outside cabin, as well as the tools and dangerous stuff, it will be far better than keeping them inside a garage.
Apart from this, never use your garage for things like barbecuing or making fires. Using ovens and other appliances with powered by gas can also be hugely dangerous, putting yourself in high risk in the process.
To prevent these probable damaging situations, you could follow these tips;
- Never use the garage for barbecues, cooking or making fires. Try to do all these things inside a kitchen or in outdoor places.
- Try not to store flammable or things that could combust. Only store tools, boxes, and safer stuff if needed.
- Keep power tools and other workshop materials or items always stored if possible.
- Try not to smoke or fire up things inside your garage. You don’t know when a gas leak may be happening nor whether your car is spreading fumes around that could activate with sparks.
So make sure to be as careful as possible when using your garage and to put your things, you may never see the difference, but you may also eventually be grateful for it.
Conclusion – Never Let a Small Garage Issue Become a Disaster!
Being aware of all the different issues & dangerous things in your garage will make you much more careful about how you act and how you maintain this room at home.
If you feel any of the previous safety issues are happening, take the right precautions and follow our tips for fixing them. You won’t trust how many dangerous situations you can prevent when doing this.
So don’t hesitate and start making your garage the safest place in your house. If you don’t, it may become a disaster place – and you don’t want that!