5 Life Hacks for a Safe Garage
Your garage can be your workshop, your man cave, maybe your castle … but it can be more like a dungeon of hazards if you don’t take a few precautions. Fortunately, there are plenty of potential dangers in a garage that can be prevented easily!
- Where there’s smoke, there’s fire - Make sure you have a working smoke detector to alert you immediately to any danger. Test the batteries regularly—say, the first of every month. And keep a fire extinguisher stored within easy reach. Make sure everyone knows where to find it and how to use it.
- Protect your valuables - And by that, we mean your eyes, ears, skin, and anything else you hold dear. Impact-rated safety glasses shield your eyes (and those of any observers) from glass, metal, wood, or any other type of flying debris, as well as splatters from paint and toxic chemicals. Keep them handy so you’re not tempted to work without them. Disposable nitrile gloves are “hand-y” to have nearby, as are leather or mechanics’ gloves for sturdier protection. Earplugs or noise-muting headphones are useful to have when operating noisy equipment in an enclosed space (not to mention when you feel like creating a cone of silence in your man cave). Finally, keep a first-aid kit within reach so you’re not caught without those vital supplies in an emergency.
- Let there be light - Install additional lights where they are needed most: over work areas and potential tripping hazards, such as stairways or ramps. Add reflective tape to the edges of steps so they’re more easily seen. Protect light bulbs with plastic or metal guards. Keep several flashlights at hand, and packs of batteries nearby. And it’s a good idea to have a larger portable work light available that can move with you to different parts of your garage.
- Pick your poison - and then put it away. There are plenty of legitimate reasons you’d have hazardous chemicals in your garage: gas and other automotive fluids, pesticides, pool chemicals, snow-melt salt, paint and paint thinner all have their place. But there’s no legitimate reason to leave them stored improperly where they can be spilled, inhaled, or cause other harm. Keep them in their original containers, tightly sealed, and stored out of reach on specialty shelving or in locked cabinets.
- Ramp up the safety factor - Load and unload your vehicles, equipment, and “toys” without crushing a toe. Ramps and steps help move larger items smoothly and safely in and out of your or garage.
With a little forethought and planning, your garage can be a safe haven – and a lot more fun - for you and others.
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