Statistics show that thousands of children suffer from accidents that take place at home each year. In addition, this particular study states that over 30% of Australian houses still have easy access for children to enter the garage.
Our garages are often the place where we put the objects we don’t want to store at home – for example, the chemicals and cleaners as well as heavy and dangerous tools.
The garage also has other issues we often ignore. If you have a large garage that’s big enough to fit two or three cars, it’s very easy to put old toys, furniture and various junk in there, to get it out of out of your mind. This can soon become a hazard to children who might think there’s something interesting out there in the garage, as a messy junk pile can be extremely dangerous.
In today’s article, we decided to list some objects you should particularly watch out for.
We also want to tell you how to keep your family safe while still having a useful, practical and clean garage.
Find a safe spot for chemicals.
Drain cleaner pool chlorine or turpentine never seems to be quite finished, so it’s very tempting to just put it on a shelf or in a box in the garage. You know it’s there and shouldn’t be messed with, but your little ones may have no idea that they shouldn’t play with these highly hazardous substances.
If you’re conscious about the environment, you may find it especially hard to dispose of these chemicals the old-fashioned way – by tipping them down the drain or just throwing them out with the weekly garbage collection. Councils don’t want any hazardous materials being thrown out with the garbage, so there are designated places where you can drop off dangerous chemicals, such as paint and cleaning products.
Make sure that you only storage the chemicals that you will use. There is no point of exposing your family to unnecessary danger. If you decide you really do need to keep chemicals in the garage, make sure that they’re in safe containers with tightly closed, preferably childproof lids.
Gas barbeques can also create danger, especially if you store a spare cylinder full of gas in the garage. This can cause fires or explosions. You also need to make sure that you have a fully-functioning smoke alarm in the garage, remembering to check the batteries twice a year.
Store your ladders correctly
The obvious way to store a ladder is to stand it up vertically against a wall – WRONG!
This means that anyone brushing by can accidentally push it onto themselves, or inflict significant damage to the roof and doors.
The best idea is to lay a ladder horizontally on the floor so that it has nowhere to fall. Better still, you can hang it horizontally from the ceiling or the wall. Storing the ladder horizontally also greatly reduces the chances it will tempt small children to turn it into climbing equipment.
We hope you found the first part of our “Family friendly garage” article helpful.
Next month we will give you more ideas on how to keep your family safe around your garage.