Do you cringe every time you open your garage door? Closing the door won’t make that mess, or the following garage dangers, disappear:
- Slips and trips. Slips and falls are your garage’s greatest danger, accounting for more than a third of all injuries. Unmarked stairs are a major culprit. Put reflective tape on the edges of steps (even if there are only a few) so they’re easy to see, day or night. Keep your garage organized and clutter free.
- Chemical concerns. Chemicals such as fertilizer, pesticides, paint thinner and gasoline can present serious fire risks when kept in the garage. Keep all flammable products in a well-ventilated area, in their original packaging and out of the reach of children. Place a fire extinguisher in your garage.
- Electrical shocks from extension cords. A regular household extension cord isn’t heavy-duty enough to be used in the garage, where damp concrete floors increase your risk of electrical shock. Opt for outdoor extension cords and power strips.
- Leaning ladders. When placed leaning against a shelf or wall as storage, a ladder can be dangerous. Store your ladder horizontally on the ground to prevent it from falling on you or your children.
- Carbon monoxide from your car. In attached garages, carbon monoxide (CO) fumes from your car’s exhaust can build up quickly and seep inside your home. Never leave your car running while parked in the garage, even if the garage door is open. Install a CO alarm in your garage for added protection. Be careful when backing your car out, too. Backing accidents cause 500 deaths and 15,000 injuries each year.
- Dangerous doors. Most new homes are equipped with automatic garage doors that have built-in safety sensors, which stop the door from closing if anything is in its path. Test your door by putting an object in the path of the sensor as the garage door is coming down. If the system is working, the door should stop automatically and reverse. If the door continues to come down, have it checked by a professional.