This is part of a series about making your home child-safe room by room, inside and out. Make sure you’re subscribed to get tips for every room.
It’s part of your house that is often neglected when it comes to child-proofing, but your garage and shed could be the most dangerous. Here are some ways to make it safer:
- Store hazardous products such as gasoline, pesticides and fertilizers out of the reach of children, ideally in a locked cabinet.
- Install both a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke alarm in your garage.
- Ensure that your automatic garage door opener has a an external entrapment protection system, typically a sensor that prevents the garage door from closing if activated by a child or object. (This is a requirement for all garage doors manufactured as of January 1993)
- Identify the emergency release, and how to use it should someone become pinned under the garage door. Typically this consists of a short rope connected to the motor that you pull downward to detach the door from the motorized pull. This allowing you to lift the garage door by hand, freeing the entrapped person.
- Never “warm up” a car or lawnmower in an attached garage, this can produce carbon monoxide which can leak into the home.
- Always wear goggles when using power tools to prevent eye injury.
- Do not allow children to play in cars, they could become trapped and unable to get out. It is best to lock car doors at all times.
- Before backing out of the garage, walk around the car to make sure no children are behind you.
- Cover trash containers to keep insects and rodents out.
Check out tips on other rooms here.
—Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Beaumont Health System