The answer might well be no. According to RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), around 2.7 million people have an accident around the home, including the garage, every year.
Thankfully there are some small things you can do to get your garage under control and make it a safer place for all the family. In our short video we'll give you some ideas on what you can do to prevent accidents in your garage.
Trips and Falls
Falls are the single biggest cause of injury-related death in the UK, yet most falls can be avoided. Organise everything in your garage properly and you have a better chance of keeping walking areas clear. Pay special attention to areas around steps and doorways, and never leave anything on stairways. Make sure electrical leads are neatly tucked away as it is very easy to catch a foot in a loose cord. Wipe up spills quickly, especially if they involve oil or grease. Store ladders horizontally – not only does it help prevent them falling but it removes the temptation for children to climb them.
Many injuries occur when shelving is overloaded and objects fall off onto people below. When stacking shelves, put larger, heavier items at the bottom and smaller items on top. Consider using baskets and bins rather than open shelves, and secure unstable shelving to the walls.
One of the biggest garage safety issues is the risk of fire, as we all use our garages to store flammable material like paint and oil. Electrical faults can cause a spark that starts a fire, so check electrical cables for damage and don’t overload sockets. If you store petrol, keep only a minimal amount in a locked storage area, separate from the rest of the garage if possible, along with any other flammable liquids. Never store flammables in a garage where there is a pilot light. Install a fire extinguisher and make sure every adult in your home knows how to use it. And if you have a tumble dryer in the garage make sure you regularly clean it out to prevent a build-up of dust and “fluff”.
For optimum garage safety keep your garage well lit, but don’t use bulbs that exceed the recommended wattage. Try to avoid using naked bulbs, as there’s a risk of breakage and fire.
This is one of the most serious garage safety problems, because many of the substances we store are highly poisonous. Keep all poisons out of the reach of children, preferably in a locked garage storage cabinet, and never decant them from their original container. This includes paints, thinners, cleaning products, car oils and pesticides.
There is also a big risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in garages, because fumes can build up quickly. Don’t leave your car engine running in the garage - even with the door open there won’t be enough ventilation to prevent a build up of noxious fumes. Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your garage as well as near heating boilers so you are alerted early to any leak.
Following these simple garage safety tips will ensure your garage is as safe as possible and help prevent accidents. Click here to download a pdf.