While many people own a garage, and use that garage to store vehicles, chemicals, and other items, they rarely realize the dangers. If you have children, the danger risk of your garage greatly increases. Read below to learn about potential hazards in your garage, and how to protect yourself and your family.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
If you start your car in your garage, you are at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. If you leave your car running for any reason, those fumes can enter into your home. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, so without an alarm, you cannot detect it. Unfortunately, only about ⅓ of homes have a working carbon monoxide alarm. Install a carbon monoxide alarm on every floor of your house, and do not leave your car running in the garage, even if the door is open.
Many people store their paint, gasoline, oil, and other combustible materials in the garage. Even a tiny spark can ignite the vapors of these materials if they are not properly stored. Make sure that every container is properly labeled and air tight, and keep them far away from matches and lighters.
Besides being a fire hazard, the unorganized clutter offers a very real safety threat to you and your children. If your stuff is precariously positioned in teetering towers, they can cave in, trapping or injuring you or your children. If toys are stored near chemicals or too high, your children may become curious and explore the toxic chemicals, or use them as a step-stool to reach their things. This can lead to falls, poisoning, or even death. Keep all toys in one safe location in the garage, with low shelves so that your children can easily reach them, and keep all dangerous chemicals out of their reach.
Salt, lawn chemicals, gasoline, paint, and other substances pose a threat to both children and animals. If they are within reach, they may be seduced by the bright colors or interesting smells, and consume something that could potentially kill them. Make sure that you keep all poisonous chemicals out of reach of kids and pets, and if you are using D-Con to keep the mice away, make sure that it is in a place where your pet or child will never find it.
Many burglars use the garage as an entry into the home. You should always keep your garage door closed, especially when you are not home, but you should also make sure that the door to your home is locked as well. Install motion-sensor lights on the outside of your home and in your garage to draw attention to any activity inside and around the garage. Do not store valuable items in the garage, as they can be easily stolen.