Top tips for a safer garage: Merlin

With cans of paint, pesticides, oil spills and a big, heavy, automated door, your garage is one of the most dangerous areas in your home. Given that we use garages to store our most hazardous household items, it makes sense to take steps to protect our families and pets from some of the more risky parts of a suburban garage. With that in mind, garage door manufacturer Merlin has come up with eight top tips for a safer garage.

Never allow children to play with the garage door

The garage door and opener are not toys and can be dangerous if misused. Children should never be allowed to play with the garage door, its automatic opener system or remote control. Children should never play under or near the garage door and should keep fingers and hands away from the door and opener to prevent any crushing or pinching of fingers and hands.

Keep tools out of reach of children and toxic items locked away

 Garages are home to a number of sharp, heavy and hazardous tools, so to ensure children can’t get their hands on these items, keep them on high shelves or up on pegboards, out of their reach. Highly toxic items such as chemical cleaners, pesticides and garden chemicals should be tightly sealed and stored in a locked cupboard at all times.

Always clean up sawdust and oil spills after working in the garage

As many garages are also used as workshops, ensure that all sawdust, woodchips and oil spills are immediately cleaned up after the work is complete, as these are not only a slipping hazard, but are also combustibles that can fuel a fire.

Ensure your automatic garage door opener has a safety reverse function

Garage doors – whether automatic or manually operated – are heavy and large objects that can potentially cause serious injury or even death. To reduce the likelihood of injury, ensure your garage door is installed with an automatic garage door opener equipped with an automatic safety reverse. 

Protect your child from vehicles

When reversing out of your garage, always conduct a thorough check of your surroundings and regularly scan the area for small children and pets. Avoid leaving your keys inside your vehicle to prevent children from accidently starting the vehicle in a closed garage. Ensure motorcycles and bicycles are secure to prevent them from falling on children.

Store flammable items in the correct location

Many house fires start in the garage due to the presence of the flammable items generally stored there. Fire requires three things: fuel, oxygen and heat, so if you keep incendiary items away from heat sources such as water heaters, fridges and battery chargers, you are taking the first preventative step in avoiding a garage fire.

Keep a fire extinguisher close by

A fire extinguisher is an essential item to have in a garage and should be kept close to an entry point to the garage. A CLASS 10B:E extinguisher is the most suitable for garages and uses a nontoxic dry powder extinguisher to combat fires involving oil, flammable liquids and electrical equipment.

Install a heat detector inside the garage

Due to the nature of garages (often filled with smoke fumes from the car or from the workshop) smoke detectors often give false alarms and a heat detector is a more suitable option for the garage space. A heat detector will detect rapid rises in temperature and alert you of a fire in your garage.

Source: Merlin

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