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Garage Organization and Safety

By HHI Staff

One simple way to make your garage safer and healthier is to keep it both clean and well-organized. Doing this will lessen the accumulation of dust and debris, and therefore, potential pest habitats. It will also lower your risk of tripping accidents.

 

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The first step in doing this is to simply discard (or sell, or give away) all the “stuff” you don’t really need, or will likely never use again. Remember, however, you’ll want to dispose of properly any items considered “household hazardous waste” such as pesticides and solvent-based products. To learn what procedures to follow, contact your local sanitation department or board of health.

 

Another good idea is to replace gasoline-powered yard equipment with manual or electric models, if at all possible. Powerful equipment that runs on gasoline can be extremely odorous, and will require cans of gasoline (and oil) to be in your garage to operate it. The clothing worn by people who use these types of machines can quickly become saturated with combustion gases, which may be difficult or even impossible to remove. Naturally, the individual operating the equipment will have inhaled these dangerous pollutants, and their hair and skin will have absorbed their unpleasant odors just as their clothes did. If you decide to replace your gasoline-powered equipment, manual and electric alternatives should be available locally.

 

To conveniently store items you intend to keep, consider buying metal cabinets with doors. These cabinets work well at holding tools, hoses, sprinklers, car-cleaning products, etc. You’ll find that these are available at most office-supply and home improvement stores. Note: Metal storage cabinets with locking mechanisms, or ones that are designed to accept a padlock, are excellent choices if children are around your home.

 

In addition, heavy-duty, metal-mesh shelving units designed for mounting on walls can also provide good, solid storage sites. Sometimes these are stocked by local hardware stores and building centers. Also check larger office-supply stores. Then, too, you might consider using sturdy wall-mounted metal brackets to hang your rakes and other long-handled tools.

 

Finally, for proper fire safety, you’ll want to make sure your garage is equipped with a multipurpose fire extinguisher. You’ll want to keep this in a prominent place. And from time to time you’ll need to remember to check your extinguisher’s gauge to see if it’s properly charged.

 

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The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on HealthyHouseInstitute.com as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.

 

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Garage Organization and Safety:  Created on May 19th, 2011.  Last Modified on May 19th, 2011

 

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