Childproofing Garages and Workshops

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The garage and workshop are two areas your baby or young child is best kept out of. Hazardous implements and poisonous substances abound in both. Never work on a car when a small child is present. If there will be times when your youngster just has to be with you, use every childproofing technique you possibly can.

  • Never store a discarded refrigerator or freezer in the garage or workshop. An empty appliance can become a death trap for a curious child. Any discarded appliance should have its door removed, no matter where it's stored. It's just much too tempting a hide-away place for kids.
  • Use the same cabinet and drawer locks and electrical outlet covers you use in the rest of the house here too.
  • Keep pesticides, plant sprays, car cleaners, paints and other chemicals and supplies, including aerosol cans, locked up. Consider nontoxic alternatives to pesticides and do the environment and yourself a favor. Pay particular attention to safe storage of antifreeze because it has a sweet taste.
  • Don't leave lengths of rope lying about or even hung on walls where children might reach them.
  • Store ladders in a horizontal position, so a child cannot try to climb them and so they won't fall on a child.
  • Disconnect power tools after use. Consider attaching plug locks to their cords. Insert outlet covers in workshops, too.
  • Lock the doors of a car parked in the garage or driveway. An investigative child might manage to get in and either suffocate from heat or get hurt in dozens of other ways.
  • Empty water or any liquids from all buckets and store them upside down.

Automatic Garage Door Safety Tips

  • Disconnect and replace a garage opener that does not reverse when it touches any object. Children who have pushed the switch and tried to run under the closing door have been trapped and killed.
  • Check the door by closing it on a heavy cardboard box to be sure the revers feature is in working order. If it doesn't work, call your door installer!
  • Install the door opening switch high on the wall where children can't reach it. Keep the door openers locked up in the car's glove compartment or in a purse.

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