How safe is your garage?

When going through a home security checklist, many neglect their garages. However, your garage can become a very unsafe place—quickly.

Consider the below tips to clean, organize and monitor potential hazards within your garage.

1. Organize and Unclutter

Tidying up an already chaotic garage can seem like a large undertaking, but doing so could help prevent potential injury to you and your family.

To organize, first categorize the types of items you store in the garage (i.e. tools, gardening supplies, sports gear, etc.). Next, evaluate storage options for each set. Shelving, cabinets, cubbies and peg-boards help keep items off the ground and eliminate tripping hazards.

Furthermore, if you have items in your garage that are vastly unused but that you cannot part with, consider self-storage solutions.

2. Mitigate Fire Hazards

Garages are a leading place for fires to start. Oil and gasoline drips from cars and flammable liquids commonly found in garages are a formula for a dangerous situation. To mitigate fire hazards in your garage, consider the following:

  • If you must store flammable material in the garage, do so only in small amounts.
  • Store flammable materials away from electrical appliances.
  • Clean up any spills in the garage immediately.
  • Ensure your garage is wired properly. A spark from a short wire could be enough to get a fire started.
  • Check that garage walls and ceilings are fire retardant. If not, consider renovating.
  • Don’t overload circuits.
  • Install a heat detector.

3. Install Environmental Monitoring Systems

When danger arises in your garage, you will not be able to detect it as quickly as if it were in the main home. This is why smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors are vitally important in diminishing garage dangers.

Carbon monoxide monitors, in particular, are a nonnegotiable in attached garages that house cars. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas found in vehicle exhaust that can only be detected through a monitoring system. More than 150 people in the U.S. die each year from accidental non-fire related carbon monoxide poisoning.

4. Avoid Security Vulnerabilities

In addition to the hazards that can present themselves, a garage can also cause security vulnerabilities—especially when attached to the home.

Garages can hold valuables that are prime for taking as well as present access to the main home. To prevent this from happening:

  • Always close and lock the garage. This keeps your items out of sight and out of mind for burglars.
  • Keep the door connecting the garage to your house locked.
  • Invest in remote access control for the times you leave the home and forget to close and lock the garage.
  • Monitor the status of your garage door via your smartphone. It can even send you an alert if the door is open too long, or at certain periods of the day. You can also close the door remotely from your phone when away from home.
  • Install surveillance cameras in and around the garage.

Treat your garage like any other entry point and secure it accordingly.

Contact us to discuss the above suggestions in further detail.

Image Source: Elliott Cable via Flickr