The fourth part of A GUIDE TO SECURING YOUR GARAGE follows on from Part One of LOOKING AFTER YOUR GARAGE, and looks at other forms of maintenance that can help keep your garage secure...
Your garage door is arguably the most important part of your garage to keep in good working order because this is the area that burglars are more likely to target, particularly if it looks like it could be easy pickings by being in less than peak condition. However, it is also important to keep on top of the other areas of your garage, as it is just as important to have a safe environment for you and your family to operate in than it is to be safeguarded against burglars.
Some of these maintenance areas include repairing holes in drywall and replacing broken glass in windows and doors. It also includes making sure your garage roofing is of the highest standard so that the risk of leaking or flooding is kept to a minimum. Your garage gutters and downspouts should also be checked for blockages, especially in the Fall when leaves and moss can become an issue. You should consult a professional if any of these issues become more than you can handle.
Keeping your floors clean and clear is extremely important. Garages are often used as storage spaces and can often have heavy tools and equipment around. If your floors are slippery or damaged for any reason, they could become a safety hazard for children or adults if they came in and slipped or tripped and ended up hitting their head or any other form of accident. If your floors are concrete – which will most likely be the case – they can become susceptible to cracks and wear and tear. It is important to take care of any small or large cracks as soon as possible by cleaning the area around the crack and clearing the crack of any debris before adding concrete crack sealant to fill the crack. If you take care of these small cracks right away, they won’t become a bigger problem in the future.
Removing Slippery Oil and Stains from Floors
Garages are always prone to spills from oil and other liquids that could create a slippery surface or make ugly stains on your concrete floor. Luckily, there are plenty of concrete floor stain removal products out there, but it is important to do your homework, as they can often leave stains of their own if you get one that isn’t right for the type of floor that you have.
The best course of action though is to act fast. As soon as you make a spillage of any kind, use a paper towel to absorb the liquid. This is much better than attempting to rub it into the concrete, which will only damage the concrete in the long run. A great tip for larger liquid spills is to use kitty litter to soak it up. The pros swear by this, so it’s a good idea to keep a bag in your garage just in case, whether you own a cat or not.
In a small area that has flammable liquids, oils, wood dust, gasoline, and other combustible materials, fire protection is pretty important to having a safe and secure garage. All that a flammable material needs is an ignition, and if you have heat sources and lighting in your garage, it could be the ignition that it needs to put your home and your lives at risk.
The best way to keep your garage safe from fire risk is to conduct safe practice in your workspace. For example, sealing and putting away all flammable liquids, tools and materials at the end of each use is a sure fire way of protecting yourself. Paint thinner, oils and any other products should be locked away in a safe place, and any oil soaked rags should be stashed away too. If the ignition and the product can’t meet, there can be no fire.
Having the right fire protection safety products in your home should alert you and your family of any fire, smoke and carbon monoxide issues. This involves shopping around for a great fire alarm and detectors for smoke and carbon monoxide. It is a legal requirement to have them in your home, and of the utmost importance for you to have them fitted for the safety of your family. Having fire extinguishers, sprinklers and fire blankets installed or on hand are also great fire protection options.
The three types of fire extinguishers most commonly used in homes are:
- Class A: For ordinary combustibles like paper, cloth and wood
- Class B: For flammable liquids such as gasoline, grease and oil
- Class C: For electrical equipment such as tools, lights, heating apparatus and TV’s, stereos, etc.
In a garage, the likelihood is that all three of these extinguishers could be beneficial. But in the most instances, the best way to approach a fire is to evacuate the home and call for the fire and rescue services to come and tackle it, unless it is small enough that you are absolutely positive that you can deal with it yourself. The best practice is to keep one extinguisher in the garage and one in the home, so you always have access to one if you need it in a sudden emergency.