Spring Cleaning: How to Disaster-Proof Your Garage

Spring is a fantastic time to cut back on some clutter and make space for the rest of the year. As we open our windows to some fresh air and sunshine, we should keep something else in mind while we rejuvenate our homes. Whether you are renovating or simply reorganizing, there are a few ways you can disaster-proof your garage to ensure it stays in excellent shape. Follow these tips to prepare for any unexpected circumstances the year has in store for you.

Rethink What You Store – and Reorganize

Is there barely enough room for the car, or no room at all? Your garage needs more than a walking space. To ensure you can safely enter and exit this area, clear a path. If you simply have too much clutter, it is time to recycle or rearrange. For example, an outdoor shed can provide another place to keep your essentials. Since so much traffic goes in and out of this area, it is easy to trip on a wayward box. In worst-case scenarios, a heavy tool or plank of wood can hit a person’s head. Slip and fall accidents are another common type of injury that can take place in the garage.

As you clean, look for anything you have not used since the year began. Cut back on what you do not need, throw a yard sale, or simply recycle.

Watch for the Liquid Hazards

The garage is a disaster-prone area. Over time, poisons, paints, cleaning materials, and gasoline make their way right next to flammable boxes and rags in this small space. Though there is often no better place to store these chemicals and fuels, consider how dangerous this could be. Do you store a propane grill, matches, or Tiki torches in this area? Reorganize these items, check that they are stored properly, and dispose of materials correctly. Moreover, pick up or recharge a fire extinguisher and keep it in the garage.

Dispose of Fluids, Batteries, and Similar Items Safely

Speaking of unsafe materials, our garages are full of things we cannot simply throw away or pour down the sink. If you do your own oil changes, for example, you deal with oily rags, old oil, and other items that cannot end up in the Northwestern Landfill or the Elk River. Here is a short list of items you must properly recycle:

  • Oil
  • Batteries
  • Computers and computer parts
  • Phones and chargers

The state of West Virginia has laws in place regulating how these items are cleared out. Though they are an environmental concern, keeping electronics and flammable liquids in close proximity is simply asking for trouble.

Rethink Security

While you are reorganizing, stop to look at your home from the street and imagine things from a crook’s perspective. Trees and bushes can provide a place to hide, and windows and other entry points – such as the garage itself – should be secure. Is it a well-lit area? If a trespasser makes it into the garage, how difficult is it to enter the rest of the house? An unwelcome guest certainly counts as a major crisis, but you can discourage this from happening by being proactive.

Know Your Legal Obligations

A disaster takes many forms, whether you were injured at a party or your own guests are hospitalized after a power tool tumbles on someone’s head. If you own a business, you are legally obligated to keep the property as safe as possible, which means staying organized and promptly recycling or safely storing any dangerous chemicals. In any of these situations, quality representation is essential. Know your rights, and know when you can seek compensation for damages. The West Virginia personal injury attorneys at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC have experience with every aspect of personal injury, from slips and falls to chemical burns. Call our office or contact us online for more information.