This section of the guide will take a look at great uses for the garage, and how to safeguard your garage accordingly...
In order to fully secure your garage, it’s important to know exactly what you are going to use it for, so that you can put all the safety and security measures in place. If it’s just an extra room for storage, or the equivalent of a giant toolbox, you will need to go through the garage with a fine-tooth comb to make everything is fitted correctly and that the risk of accidents occurring is at a minimum.
As mentioned previously in the guide, parents with small children have to be very careful when it comes to the way they treat their garage. It should either be off limits to the kids – if it looks like a bomb site – or they should be supervised if it is in good condition but the dangers are still present. Keeping the sharper and heavier tools bolted to the wall or locked away within the garage is a very good idea.
Believe it or not, the garage is also used for storing cars! It may be a little stereotypical to assume that a lot of car owners are keen on having their garage as ‘off limits’, but it’s also a safe assumption. By keeping cars safely locked up in the garage, you are unlikely to see accidents and incidents occurring that are the fault of family members, but you’re also unlikely to see your car or garage become a target for vandals or thieves. By having solid garage doors and secure locks – accompanied by an alarm if necessary – you can keep the visitors to your garage down to the level you require.
It is still important to keep your garage clean and tidy, with any car cleaning products and oils locked away. We all know that children like to break the rules, and if your garage is ‘out of bounds’, it will be extremely tempting for a child to check out your private garage area when you are not home. By keeping the garage securely locked and the inside clean and clear, you should avoid any accidents.
A number of families use the garage as a utility room, almost as an extension of the kitchen so that there can be more room in the kitchen for other appliances or more room to manoeuvre. In this instance, the garage becomes home to the washing machine and the tumble dryer, and a haven for washing storage.
Even with this set-up though, there are safety precautions to keep. Garages can often become flooded in the event of heavy rain, and if there is electrical equipment inside, this could throw up the danger of being electrocuted. It is always a good idea to keep electrical equipment – and the plugs, sockets and extension leads they use – off the ground and unplugged when they are not being used.
If your appliances are a little on the old side, they could also be prone to leak, which can lead to the machine breaking down, but can also be dangerous for children who might slip in the water. And if you are doing some maintenance work on the machine yourself, make sure that you don’t run the machine without the top or the back securely in place. It could lead to you getting electrocuted.
We all know that the garage is a great way of utilising space that the rest of the home might not have the room for. The home gym is a desired and popular choice, and a good sized garage can afford you the opportunity to build a gym at home. The key is deciding on what apparatus to purchase, ensure that it is assembled to the correct standard and then make sure that the space is safe and secure, both for yourself and your family.
One of the biggest drawbacks of a home gym is space. It is essential that you have plenty of room to manoeuvre around the gym. Accidents and injuries can occur quite easily if you don’t have adequate space to perform. This means clearing any clutter you have – locking everything away where possible – and getting to know your space. It’s also important that your equipment is kept together and smaller parts (weights, dumbbells, etc.) are locked away. They could be tripped over and cause an accident.
For The Kids
So far the guide has been very ‘Mum and Dad’ focussed, but there are occasions where garages have been used for children’s play areas and converted into second bedrooms. If this is the case, the rooms still need to be altered for this use, including having insulation and flood protection in place and keeping anything dangerous – equipment and chemicals – kept locked away and out of reach.
If you are using the garage for your children’s use, it could be a very good idea to teach them basic first aid, and have very clear instructions about what to do in the event of an accident or fire laid out for them. This may only be of use if the children are of a more mature age, but it is still important, as parents cannot be there 100% of the time.
Overall, it doesn’t really matter how conventional or obscure your garage usage is. Whether you have a utility room, an office or a vintage car collection behind your garage door, the safety and security of the garage is paramount when protecting your family against accidents, injuries and the threat of burglary.