Tis the season to clear out the garage and house – invite over neighbors and strangers to purchase items from your home that you no longer use to make a few extra bucks. In the meantime, those neighbors and strangers are getting an intimate look into your private space. You are also opening yourself up to exposing others to potential dangers that may be lurking in your garage.
Before you put up the garage sale sign, you will want to make sure you are protecting your home and those visiting your home by attending to these 10 safety measures.
1. inspect Garage Doors
Garage doors are heaving and could cause some real damage if they were to fail when you are holding a garage sale. Make sure you take the proper steps to secure your garage door.
Here a few safety tips for your garage doors:
- Inspect your garage door springs and cables for excessive wear
- Know where the emergency release handle for your doors is and how to use it
- If applicable, check that your garage door photo eye sensors are properly aligned, clean, and unobstructed
- Test the auto-reverse safety feature on your garage doors and opener.
2. proper Storage for Your Garage Remote
While many people keep their automatic garage door openers clipped to the visors of their cars, thieves know that a garage door opener remote is basically like another key into your home, and they won’t hesitate to use it if they find it.
At SEI, we provide smart garage automation where you can operate your garage door remotely from anywhere. Simply install the app and you will always have access to your garage on you without the need for an easily identifiable remote.
3. Proper Hazardous Materials Storage
Many garages contain hazardous material products that need to be stored responsibly. Products such as fertilizers, pesticides, gasoline, cleaning products, car maintenance fluids, are just a few examples. You will want to store any hazardous chemicals and materials in an appropriately safe spot, either up high and out of the reach of your kids and pets or in locked garage cabinets.
A locked shed with adequate venting might also be ideal for certain items, like bags of fertilizer or extra propane tanks. Makes sure to read the storage instructions on each product.
4. Dispose of Old Paint
If you’ve lived in the same house for awhile, you’re sure to have compiled a collection of empty and half-used paint cans. You will want to take some time to sort through these materials to see what you still need to keep for touchups and what you can properly dispose of. Finally taking these hazardous paint to your local recycling or disposal depot will also remove potential poisoning and fire hazards from your garage.
5. store tools safely
Garages are an ideal and common place to store various tools used for home maintenance. From large power tools to a simple hammer and nails, you will want to eliminate any safety concerns by making sure tools kept in the garage are properly stored.
Garage storage cabinets with locks are the ideal solution and also help keep your tools secure. For larger power tools that can’t be locked in a cabinet, you will want to make sure their safety locking mechanisms work properly. For an extra level of safety protection, you could also disconnect the stationary tools from their power supply when you’re not using them.
In addition to ensuring safe, secure storage of your power tools, take the same care to make sure any sharp yard tools or hand tools are stored safely. You will want to store items like rakes, shovels, pruners, and many other types of yard tools with sharp edges in a proper storage system that allows all of your yard tools to be stored in a safe, organized manner.
An added element of protection for both storage cabinets and sheds are to install wireless contacts that are connected to your security system. A door contact sensor works using a sensor and a magnet. The sensor has an internal reed switch that is closed when it is in direct proximity with a magnet. When the door is opened, the magnet is separated from the sensor. This releases the reed switch, and the sensor alerts you through your security system.
6. A Well Lit Garage
One of the less obvious garage safety tips you might not have considered is to simply improve your garage lighting. There are many modern garage lighting ideas available that can make your garage easier to function within, which makes it safer.
Burglars like the cover of night, and many of them rely on the dark shadows around your garage to hide their shady attempts to get into your home. Installing motion-activated lights near the garage windows and doors will make burglars think twice about attempting a nighttime break-in. Motion-sensing lights are especially helpful for keeping detached garages out of the shadows.
Another option is to install smart lighting that is on a schedule and connected with your alarm system. This can be both installed inside the garage and outside.
7. Fire Safety Measures
Contrary to what you may think, you do not want to install a smoke detector in your garage. Instead, you will want to invest in a heat detector. Heat detectors are more reliable than smoke detectors when placed in environments that can become dusty or dirty, such as garages.
Another great investment is a fire extinguisher for the garage. You will want to ensure anyone old enough to operate the device is properly trained on how to use it.
8. Carbon Monoxide Detection
Carbon monoxide from vehicle emissions doesn’t pose a health risk in the small amounts that are generated by vehicles being started and parked in garages. However, when vehicles are left to run for longer than recommended periods in the garage safety becomes an issue.
This harmful odorless and colorless gas can also build up if you’re running any gas-powered tools or recreational vehicles in your garage. If you’re doing maintenance on a lawn mower, grass trimmer, or anything else run by gas, be mindful of not running them for too long in the garage.
You will want to ensure that a monitored carbon monoxide detector is installed in your home to protect your family against this deadly gas.
9. Remove Expensive Items from View
When inviting strangers into your garage to shop for items, you will want to ensure anything not for sale is tucked away. Not only will you ensure someone doesn’t accidentally purchase something you do not want to sell, you will also not show off items that could be susceptible for theft. A garage holds tools, equipment and other items that offer a tempting prize for someone casing the house for possible burglary then or in the future.
10. Secure your Home Entry Door
Even though it seems easier to keep the door to your home unlocked during a garage sale for easy access, you will want to shut and lock this entry into your home. It’s easy for a person to slip into the house while you are distracted helping a customer.
You can toughen up your door security with a deadbolt, and remember that your door’s weakest point is the strike plate, where the lock meets the door. Replace the strike plate with a reinforced one, and use a minimum of 3-inch screws to secure it.
CONTACT US TO SECURE YOUR GARAGE
Do all that you can to keep your garage safe and secure for your family by knowing all the options SEi provides. Contact SEI Security today to discuss how we can ensure you have all the tools you need.