Keeping families safe around the garage and driveway is a top priority for Merlin. We are always striving to understand how garage and driveway injuries occur, and what we can do to help prevent them.
We specifically design products that elevate safety, such as Safety Beams and Merlin’s myQ technology, but in order to keep high-risk areas such as the garage and driveway safer for families, certain behaviours and safety plans need to be put in place.
We sat down with Christopher Zinn, President of Kidsafe Australia and a member of the Kidsafe NSW Council to further understand why garage safety is so important, and what families can do to prevent unintentional injury.
Q: How important is it to make driveways and garages safer?
A: Each week in Australia a child is hit by a slow-moving vehicle at home or in the driveway. As the largest moving object in a home, the garage door can also present a serious risk to children.
We’re proud to be working with Merlin to show Australian parents and carers the steps and actions they can take to make driveways and garages safer for the whole family.
Q: Why are driveway and garage accidents on the rise?
A: When we are at home, we feel relaxed and safe. The garage and driveway, however, are places where parents and carers need to be on their guard.
Accidents can happen in a split second and often occur when people are rushing or distracted. The garage and driveway require the full attention of parents and carers at all times.
Q: How can families make their driveway and garage safer?
At Kidsafe we recommend all families follow these four essential safety practices when moving in and around the garage and driveway:
- Supervise kids at all times when in the garage or on the driveway
- Identify a safe place for the family to stand when there is a car moving in the driveway
- Separate play areas from driveways using fences, self-closing gates, locked doors , including internal access doors to the garage as well as the garage doors.
- If you don’t know, don’t go. Check that you know exactly where the children are and if you don’t, do not move any vehicles. Actively supervise children at all times, within the car and around the driveway and garage. Don’t just rely on technology such as reversing cameras.
Q: How can technology make home access safer?
A: Investing in safety technology is another great way families can make the garage and driveway safer.
A good garage door opener should include auto reverse as a standard feature.
Smart technology, such as Merlin’s myQ App, can alert parents if the garage door has been accidently left open. With the app, the door can be closed from anywhere and at any time.
Safety Beams are a great tool to help protect the family in the garage. If the beams detect a child, pet or even a toy while in operation, the garage door will immediately reverse.
Good safety practices combined with smart safety technology can make a real difference to your family’s wellbeing in the garage or driveway.
 Mitchell R, Curtis K, Foster K. A 10-year review of the characteristics and health outcomes of injury-related hospitalisations of children in Australia. Day of Difference