Is Your Child Safe in Your Garage?

Its Saturday and you are working on your current project in the garage, engrossed in your project you hear a noise and turn around to see your child standing on the broken chair you were going to get to while reaching for the can of paint thinner. Is this you? We all have areas of our home that could use a bit more child proofing or at the least basic safety improvements, so do not feel bad lets just get it done and move on. The average modern American today uses their garage to store what does not fit in their house, or to park their current project be it a car or other “usually” highly important but often neglected item. Today we will walk through and in a relatively inexpensive way organize and safeguard for our most important items, our children.

Look around your garage; see that empty wall behind the stack of boxes that are falling apart? Let us put a few shelves there- first go to your local hardware store or lumberyard and look for two or three 8 foot long 1X12″ pine boards this may cost up too twelve dollars apiece. Next stop in the fixture aisle and grab between six and eight shelf brackets. Now you can make it look nice and spend more money than you want, or it can be functional and cost between .60 cents and 1.50 apiece for these. Next stop is the tools aisle for the 1″ too 1.5″ drywall style screws and screwdriver. If you need a saw this is a great time to get one of those, a decent handsaw will suffice. Mount these shelves starting at about three feet above the floor and spaced around two too 3 feet apart. Make sure they are level with a clear glass of water or by measuring directly from the floor; unbelievably an expensive level is not always necessary though it is fun to use. Now check your local dollar store for storage bins. It is amazing, but you can usually pick up quite a few for under 20.00 dollars. Use these and the shelves to organize what was in the boxes. Put the flammable and potentially child dangerous items on the highest shelves, make sure they are tightly sealed than placed in a clean dry open container so that fumes and vapors do not collect.

You know your bikes that are ridden every few months. Yes the ones in the corner, during your hardware store trip purchase 2-4 ladder style hooks, if you ask for the type the store employee will understand. These hooks attach directly to the wall with a little bit of hard work. Try to make sure they are put into a stud, which in many garages is easy to find because they are not finished.

Pick up some cat litter and spread it over the oil stains that are spreading out from under the car, make sure it soaks up good than sweep it up and properly dispose of it. Obviously, you may want to invest in some car or truck ramps so that you do not have to leave the car up on jacks, for one it will be much more stable, and now your children wont “accidentally” drop the jack. In addition, those tools that are lying around on the floor, when you are at the same dollar store they usually have some great plastic shelving units that will fit them very well.

Now make a quick once through and check to see if anything else needs to be put away, if so use the overhead roof joists. Again, in many modern garages, they are left unfinished, this allows you to place the leftover boards up there, and the kid’s winter clothes on top.

Now look around, in less than a day with fewer than 100.00 (normally) you made your garage safer and cleaner. Enjoy and I hope you are able to finish the car!

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