Have you ever really stopped to think about safety concerns while you are organizing your garage? Probably not, since most people will simply want to have the floor space cleared and all items in their "proper place." However, if you are really going to get the most out of your garage, you really should take a few steps ensuring that you are doing some safe garage organization instead of simply stacking everything against the wall.
- Exterior garage lighting. Install outdoor lights at your gate, in the driveway and on the garage wall next to the top edge of the door. These lights can be programmed to switch on or off at certain times or when a movement detector detects movement. If there are dogs outside the home at night, adjust the light detector just above the dog's height allowing the animal freedom of movement.
- Interior garage lighting. Install a drop light above your work bench to avoid accidents with electric drills and saws when there isn't enough light on where you work. In addition, ensure that you have adequate lighting throughout the rest of the garage so that you can see everything that you need to.
- Check your doors. Make sure that the garage door is in perfect working order. Keep in mind that if you can open the door from the outside with a wire clothes hanger, a thief can do it too.
- Garages aren't playgrounds. Don't allow small children to play in the garage as there are things where they can hurt themselves.
- Natural lighting is best. Invest in building skylights into your garage. This will ensure that you have enough light during the day while working in the garage without resorting to electricity usage. In addition, if you choose skylights that are able to be opened, you can add some extra ventilation if needed for certain projects.
- Fire extinguishers are a must. Very few garages have fire extinguishers while there are often highly flammable articles such as thinners, paints, gasoline and other hazardous materials stored there. When you do install a fire extinguisher ensure that it is capable of handling these hazardous materials.
- Protect your garage from thefts. Use burglar proofing measures to help protect your garage, and the items that are stored inside. To ensure that no one can watch you through the window at night, invest in mirror glass for more safety. Remember to have regular alarm testing drills. It is no use having a burglar alarm that doesn't go off when burglars are trying to come into the garage.
- Handle and store chemicals properly. Never fill your lawnmower with gasoline inside the garage, as the toxic fumes are bad for your health. Never light a cigarette, or smoke inside your garage. If you store chemicals in your garage, then event he smallest spark can end up causing the garage to become a huge fireball. Keep all chemicals such as paint removers, antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, fertilizers, and so on locked in cupboards to keep them out of reach of children and pets.
Hettie lives in Mokopane, South Africa. She writes articles for a country-wide monthly newspaper, The Vessel. She self-published a devotional book in 1993 and writes a regular column, Hettie's Chatterbox, for the S.A. Neuromuscular Foundation. Learn more about Hettie...
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