Is there a more sure sign of spring than when we start setting out the seasonal furniture?
Busting out the chairs and toys is a great day. It can also be looked at as a chance to refresh your garage set-up so you’re not busting something else.
Here are our 5 tips to properly (and safely) use your garage:
KEEP THE GRILL OUTSIDE
If the weather isn’t cooperating for your BBQ, think about using the oven inside instead. Cooking with your BBQ in the garage can have drastic consequences, including the risk of fire damage within the garage and/or the home. This can happen easily and fast, a recent total loss fire was suspected to have started as a result of using the BBQ to cook dinner in the attached garage.
The garage can act like a tinder box with the number of stored goods and combustible fluids nearby. This is not the place where you want to be flipping burgers over a fire.
TIGHT LIDS = NO SKIDS
The garage is where we usually store many different liquids. Gas, oil, paint, anti-freeze etc., all become a major slipping hazard when spilt. Not to mention their potential corrosive properties.
Ensure all liquids are stored with tight lids in a place that is least likely to be knocked into to prevent them from falling over.
Where liquids are stored should also be hard to access by young kids because many of these liquids are also poisonous when ingested.
GARAGE DOORS ARE DANGEROUS
A garage door is usually the largest moving object for most homes so it’s not a huge surprise that between 1990 and 2005 there were 622 injuries related to garage doors that were severe enough to require a trip to the hospital .
In addition to being more mindful each time you open or close the garage door, proactive maintenance and inspection is also a good way to prevent injuries.
- Test the full range of the door to make sure there is nothing in the way.
- Visually inspect springs and other moving parts to ensure they’re in good working order.
- Lubricate hinges.
- If you have an automatic garage door, think about installing a safety sensor that helps prevent the garage door from closing all the way if there is something in its path.
PROPER STORAGE LOCATIONS
Whether they’re items you’re using a few times a week or seasonal items only pulled out a couple of times a year, everything should have a secure place to be stored.
- Avoid storing anything that hangs over your car or other large valuables to prevent damage from falling objects. This also keeps you and your family safe from injuries.
- Store smaller valuables off the ground to prevent water damage in the event of a flood.
LOCK IT UP!
We don’t always secure our garages as we do our homes despite storing valuable items such as tools, expensive toys and small appliances. Burglars know this.
In 2010, 11% of all break-ins in Canada were nonresidential or commercial related (such as a shed or detached garage) . Make sure all doors and windows are fully secured each night before bed and whenever you’re away from the home during the day.
No matter the use of your garage, whether it’s a glorified shed or a pristine getaway oasis if you take the time to make sure it’s organized properly you will be able to get full use out of it safely all year round.
Find out if your garage and contents are covered by your home insurance policy by contacting your provider.
See also: The Best Ways To Organize Your Basement.
Erie Mutual Insurance proudly serves the commercial insurance, farm insurance, home insurance and auto insurance needs of members throughout Southern Ontario including Haldimand, Niagara and Hamilton.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.
Sources: https://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/injury-bles/chirpp/injrep-rapbles/pdf/gd-pg-eng.pdf  https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2011001/article/11523-eng.htm
Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.