Whenever you own your first classic car, chances are, you’ll probably be doing a lot of work on it in your garage.
You’ll be moving items around and positioning your vehicle in a variety of ways. With all of that in mind, it’s important to keep your work area as safe as possible for you.
Here are a few tips you can follow for a safe garage space.
Keep Hazardous Materials Locked Up
Every garage has different types of hazardous materials that have to be stored away. These can include cleaning products, car maintenance fluids, paints, solvents, and gasoline. Put any hazardous materials or chemicals in a safe spot that’s high and out of reach from children or pets. You could also keep them locked in a garage cabinet as well. Additionally, a locked shed that has adequate venting might be ideal for items such as extra propane tanks. It’s actually better if you build a separate shed for hazardous equipment to ensure safety. If DIY projects are up your alley, these 12×16 plans for a Gambrel shed would help you out. Always read the storage instructions for any product that you have.
Inspect the Garage Doors
A garage door is the largest moving object a part of your home. If it’s not working properly and closes unexpectedly when you’re pulling out the garage, it can cause serious damage to your vehicle and potentially injure you as well. When evaluating your garage door’s safety, periodically inspect the springs and cables for any excessive wear. If it’s equipped with photo eye sensors, make them clean, unobstructed, and properly aligned. You should also test the auto-reverse safety feature on the garage doors and the opener monthly. Be sure to know where the emergency release handle is and how to use it. Lastly, always keep the remotes that open the garage door out of the reach of children.
Dispose of Old Chemicals and Paints
If you owned your home for a while, you’ve likely stored up a collection of empty and half-used solvents, cleaners, paint cans, and any other items that can’t be thrown in the trash. If you like to be hands-on and do your car maintenance, there could be some old car batteries, tires, and vehicle parts still lying around that you can get rid of as well. Removing all of these eliminates potential fire and poisoning hazards. Doing this will also allow you to free up more space in your garage. You can dispose of these old paints, chemicals, and parts at a disposal depot or a local auto recycling facility.
Use Storage Systems that are Well-Anchored
A garage storage system can help you stay organised. It’s essential to make sure they can handle the weight capacities of the items that you plan to store. Items like 17-inch tires with rims can weigh up to 40 pounds, and if you’ll be storing four of them, that’s up to 160 pounds. You can make your storage system well-anchored by having them either ceiling-mounted or wall-mounted. When using racks for overhead storage, it’s helpful to use steel construction that can support a high amount of weight.
Keep your Garage Space Clean
Believe it or not, an unclean workspace can potentially make working in your garage more dangerous. Every time you finish doing work on your car, make sure your space is properly cleaned. Sweep up all spills and any debris on the floor, so no one slips on it. It would help if you also disposed of all oily rags that were used during your work session. Additionally, when you’re working, be sure to always use the appropriate face, eye, mask, and hand protection. It’s also wise to have a first-aid kit close by as well.
Have Proper Garage Lighting
This garage safety tip is one that’s often overlooked. Some garages can have no windows or not get much natural light from the ones they do have. Just using a flickering fluorescent light or only one incandescent light bulb is an outdated concept. The consequences of not having a well-lit garage is an increased likelihood of mistakes or accidents happening from not being easily able to see your surroundings. Consider using a modern LED light fixture or two to provide uniform lighting for your garage to keep the whole space well-lit. This lighting option can be more energy-efficient, as well. You’ll be better able to see when you’re driving in and out of your garage, finding a specific tool, and doing work with tools.
Use Proper Fire Safety Measures
When possible, avoid having too many boxes, magazines, newspapers, and other flammable materials in your garage, as this can be more of a fire hazard. It’s a good idea to have a smoke or heat detector alarm. Additionally, it’s a great idea to have a fire extinguisher in your garage as well. If you happen to live in cold climates, be sure to acquire a fire extinguisher model that’s able to be stored in lower temperatures. All members of your household that are old enough to operate the device should be properly trained on how to use it.
Maintain the Garage Floor
Missing chunks of cement or cracks on the floor surface can be a tripping hazard. You risk stubbing your toe or falling and seriously injuring yourself. Look for floor coating to fix the uneven spot. Polyaspartic floor coatings can be good for resisting household chemicals and abrasion damage.
Replace any Old Electrical Cords
Old electrical cords can not only be a fire hazard, but they can also be a shock hazard. With any power cord being used, be diligent about the style you’re using for a specific job or a particular tool. The cord has to have the correct gauge for the appliance or tool you use. Also, be mindful of not overloading the garage outlets with extension cords and charging devices. If your garage is an old one, ensure all of the infrastructure and electrical wiring are consistently updated.
A safe garage space is necessary to protect your vehicle from damage and protect you and your household from injury. Following these tips will help make your garage as safe as possible. Some of the work you might do in your garage may include installing a new coyote engine.