Ensure Your Family’s Safety With a Garage Inspection
Your home is a natural place of comfort and relaxation – countless memories have been made there, and no doubt countless more will come about. That’s why it is important to keep your home as safe as possible for your family and visitors with a garage inspection. Safety precautions can be made all around the exterior of the home, up in the attic, down in the basement, and everywhere in between.
When it comes to safeguarding a home, one of the most overlooked spots for homeowners is the garage. This is a bit of a folly because there are numerous potential hazards that can come up here. It’s not a wonder either, considering all the power tools, electrical wiring, vehicles, and boxes that are often found there.
When looking in your garage it’s important to identify the most likely trouble spots. Knowing what to look for and applying a little bit of mindfulness can go a long way in protecting yourself and your family from its pitfalls. Thankfully many of these safety problems aren’t difficult to remedy.
Potential Safety Problems in a Garage
One of the biggest issues in a garage, and in a home in general, is related to electrical work. In fact, one of the leading causes of fires in the United States is faulty wiring.
Often times many garages have exposed wiring which can short and quickly consume the dried out studs, chemicals, and any clutter. Aside from the wiring itself, outlets can become overloaded – especially if they are attached to a large splitter. Old extension cords and circuits can go bad and overload this circuitry, as well as light bulbs of the wrong wattage.
Other potential fire hazards can be found in any exposed oil or gas. This can be any open container or drips on the floor from vehicles or other gas-powered lawn equipment. Because a lot of power tools like saws are used inside garages, remnants like sawdust, wood chips, and other dried wood can collect in corners and the perimeter of the garage – making excellent kindling for a future conflagration.
Any excessive amount of clutter has a double problem – not only is it a fire hazard but a tripping hazard as well. Liquids that collect on the floor can make the floor slippery, while badly organized items can lead to people falling and hurting themselves.
Oftentimes cleaners, paints, and other chemicals are stored in garages as well. Anything kept at a low clearance can be deadly to little hands that might rifle around with them. There’s also the problem that certain common chemicals – like bleach and ammonia – if mixed can produce deadly results in the form of poisonous gas or combustion.
From here there is the garage door and everything attached to it – a faulty door can fall apart, be broken into, and even crush people or things with ease. Exposed parts can be a pinching hazard, while rusty or eroded ones being potentially life-threatening when they snap.
Some Tips To Keep Your Garage Safe
Since electrical problems can create all sorts of issues, it’s good practice to check wiring if you can.
A good indicator of faulty wiring is if a breaker becomes flipped off constantly despite not being overloaded. Older broken wiring should be checked and replaced. Always have a certified electrician replace any wiring – additionally, you should have them look at replacing outlets, breakers, and the breaker box if necessary.
From here one of the most important things you can do to safeguard your garage is to organize your clutter better. The simplest solution is to get rid of any items you don’t need anymore. If you have already done this then you are going to want to look at investing in new shelving, cabinets, and totes to get all your stuff out of the way.
When you are organizing make sure to look over any hazardous or poisonous chemicals. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to best keep them safe, and keep products that mix badly far away from one another. Chemicals like bleach, chlorine, vinegar, and drain cleaner can be extremely damaging if combined.
It’s best to keep these common chemicals up high and in a locked cabinet so children can’t get into them. For general fire safety, you should have a fire extinguisher on hand. A smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector are also important to have in your home, and you should have one installed in your garage as well.
A basic sprinkler system can also be considered. When it comes to garage doors there are multiple factors you should look at. If you have an automatic setup to see if the electric eye is working by walking in front of the door when it’s opening or closing.
If it doesn’t automatically stop and start reversing the eye might be blocked or not getting the proper power.
From here you should try seeing if the pressure mechanism is working properly by setting a roll of paper towels on the floor and closing the garage door – if it doesn’t automatically start reversing when it comes in contact with the roll of towels you probably have to readjust the settings.
Regular garage door maintenance, like tightening of screws and keeps the parts lubricated are extremely important to extend the life of all the parts. If you don’t already, try getting a digital lock installed on your door, and keep the garage door clicker in a special hidden spot out of little hands or potential burglars.
Basic floor maintenance should also be done from time to time. This includes not only keeping everything well swept and to dry up any spilled liquids, but also patching up and sealing the floor. This may take a little bit of sweat, but it can pay off big time as it makes the garage not only safer but also improves the lifespan of your garage floor while looking good to boot.
There are many things that can go wrong in a garage – bad wiring, combustible chemicals, clutter that is both a fire and tripping hazard, along with a garage door that has all sorts of parts and settings that can go haywire.
Make sure to have your garage properly clean and organized – it’s best to set some habits in always sweeping up and wiping down when you’re done working in there, along with putting everything back where they belong.
You should also have fire prevention products installed and on hand in case of an emergency – fire extinguishers and smoke detectors to start. Be mindful of what chemicals shouldn’t be mixed, and when in doubt look at the instructions to see how best to keep them under lock and key.
All in all none of these precautions are difficult to overcome. Doing a brief garage inspection can ensure your family’s safety for many years to come.