When it comes to potentially hazardous areas in houses, garages are one of the most overlooked by homeowners. With vehicles coming and going, DIY projects and storage being moved in and out, the garage is a busy space!
Here are the most common safety hazards you might find in your garage, and how to help prevent them.
Chemicals and hazardous materials
People often use garages to store pesticides, rat poisons, pool products, engine fluids, antifreeze, paints, paint thinners and industrial cleaners. When storing these products, keep them sealed in their original containers and raised from the floor on a shelf or in a locked cabinet.
Having proper ventilation for your garage is very important to ensure the fumes generated from your vehicle or from any machinery, chemicals or tools you use in your garage are released.
Installing an exhaust fan can help facilitate air flow and can often help to lower the cost of heating and cooling your garage.
Keep the garage door clear
If your garage door is used for storage, it’s still important to keep the door clear of boxes, bikes, tools and clutter, so you can easily ventilate your garage. Make sure there isn’t anything leaning up against the door that could fall if the door is opened.
The garage often houses tools, equipment and vehicles, which can make it a dangerous place. Stacks of clutter and junk piled high in the garage may not be stable and can be a real hazard when moving around your garage.
There are some great storage options that can help minimise the clutter in your garage, from storage racks, cabinets, slatwall and wall hooks. Start by separating items by category and storing like items together. Don’t forget to get rid of everything that’s either not useful or broken.
With the garage often disconnected from the house, having sufficient lighting in your garage is both safe and practical, especially if you use your garage as a workshop. Stumbling around for a wall light can lead to accidents or injuries.
If the lighting in your garage isn’t enough, you can install a Merlin myQ Remote LED Light, which illuminates your garage from corner to corner and can be operated using either your garage door remote or smartphone via the myQ App. It can also be connected to your Merlin myQ Remote LED Light compatible garage door opener, so it turns on as soon as your garage door opens.
Research conducted by Merlin suggests that almost one in ten people surveyed have had a family member or pet injured by their garage door.
If you have an older garage door, you might find it becomes weak and unreliable, which is a safety and security hazard for your garage. If your garage door opener has worn down or frayed springs, it could pose a risk to your family and property as they can cause your garage door to slam shut unexpectedly. Some older garage doors also have glass panels, which can cause lacerations if they break while opening and closing.
If you have a manual garage door, you could also run the risk of pinched fingers when opening and closing, which can cause serious injury.
Here are a few ways to stay safe around your garage door:
- Perform a safety reversal test: Safety reversal test – place an object 40mm above the base of the garage door’s path and set it to close. If the door doesn’t reverse in less than a second (0.75 seconds) when it touches the object, call our Customer Service team on 1800 638 234.
- Mount your door-opener wall button above the reach of small children.
- Consider adding the Protector System (Safety IR Beams), which will automatically reverse the door in two seconds if they sense an obstruction. This can give you peace of mind that your family member, pet or car won’t be caught under the closing garage door.
For more information about the safety features of Merlin Garage Door Openers, visit our website or call 1800 638 234.