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As a homeowner, you probably want your house to be as secure as possible. You invest in high-quality security cameras, hire people to perform regular check-ups, and make sure that every single damage is taken care of.
However, like most, you probably forgot about one important thing – your garage. Garages are one of the most overlooked dangerous areas in the house, which is a huge mistake.
Why exactly is the garage so overlooked? Well, there isn’t only one correct answer. Many homeowners just think of a garage as a separate area that does not need as much attention as the interior of the house.
The truth is that the garage is a very hazardous area. There are plenty of things in there that can put your health and life in danger if not taken care of.
What are those things? That’s what we’ll be looking at in this article. Here are four of the most common garage safety hazards.
Damaged Garage Door
According to the statistics provided by the NEISS, over 2.000+ people are smashed by garage doors per year, and 7.500 more are pinched during normal operation.
In most cases, it’s the broken garage door that is at fault, not the user.
What’s more, if your garage door has seen better days, it can be a lot easier to break, which means that if burglars were to try to enter your house, they wouldn’t even need to try that hard.
If you are experiencing any problem with your garage door, you shouldn’t wait to call a company providing garage door repair in Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, or whatever your location is. When it comes to old garage doors, you might want to consider a complete replacement.
Faulty wiring is a common safety hazard. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, it is a leading cause of garage fires.
Garage fires can be even more dangerous than home fires because they can go undetected for a longer period. They also spread pretty quickly due to the clutter that is usually kept in the garage.
Older homes are more prone to electrical malfunctions than new ones. If you have any doubt about the state of your electrical system (especially the one in the garage), don’t hesitate to contact an electrician.
Electrical wiring can become damaged because of many reasons – not only due to age. For instance, rodents are a common problem as they chew through the wiring.
Other Electrical Issues
Faulty wiring is not the only electrical issue that can be considered a garage safety hazard. Some other ones include:
overloaded electrical outlets
lightbulbs with a wrong wattage, as they can overload the wiring
electrical circuits that are old and faulty
improper use of extension cords (throw away any frayed or worn extension cords, avoid using extension cords permanently, and always make sure that you are using the right one for the task at hand)
Combustible Liquids Improperly Stored
What are combustible liquids? A few examples include paint, lawn care products, gas, oil, and so on. If those liquids aren’t properly stored, they might cause fire risks thanks to ignition caused by the contact of the surface with leaking combustible liquids or flammable vapors.
Keep these liquids in containers that are clearly labeled and tightly closed. Definitely do not keep them in things like used soda bottles, which happens more often than you can imagine.
Never mix them, and make sure that they are as far from any heat source as possible – including direct sunlight. If you have the opportunity to do that, keep them in a shed with good ventilation.
Also, remember about the proper disposal of liquids that you no longer need.
Another safety hazard that many people don’t even realize is dangerous is storing the propane tank. If you decide that it’s finally time to say goodbye to your grill for the next few months, and place it in the garage, then it’s fine. However, the propane tank should never be stored inside, as it can easily cause a fire.
Other Hazardous Materials
Combustible liquids are not the only hazardous materials that you can find in the garage. Fertilizers, oily rags, cleaning products – they all can be dangerous when stored and misused. Always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions – they are there for a reason.
If you want to keep the dangerous chemicals out of children’s reach, you should consider purchasing storage cabinets that need a key to be opened. Aside from safety, they will provide you with more space and can be a nice aesthetic upgrade to your garage’s appearance.
Garage clutter causes more serious problems than just being unable to park your car.
If you stack everything up and there are piles of junk in your garage, they can fall at one point or another. And while it might not be as dangerous for you (depending on what you store), it can be deadly for smaller children.
On top of that, they increase the risks of a fire spreading, which we have already mentioned above.
Managing all the things in your garage will be much easier if you choose effective garage organization solutions, such as cabinets, specialty storage racks, or a slatwall.
The Bottom Line
Although often overlooked, the garage is one of the most important parts of the house, and it needs regular maintenance. The reason behind it is that it contains many safety hazards, some of which can go unnoticed for a long while.
Damaged garage door, faulty wiring, incorrectly stored combustible materials, garage clutter – all those things increase the risks of a fire happening in your garage and spreading into your home.
We hope that after reading this article, you’ll be able to tell which things in your garage should be taken care of as soon as possible so that you can keep yourself and your family safe at all times. Good luck!
How do you keep your garage safe?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.