Tag Archives: storage

Garage Fire Prevention

Unfortunately, garage fires are an all too common occurrence. Garage fires can also be the most violent as most garages contain a host of flammable materials such as gasoline, paint thinner, greasy rags, wood, and sawdust. Garages are also where heating sources such as water heaters and furnaces are often located. A lot of us often use our garages as workshops as well, and participate in activity that create sparks such as using electric saws or welding. So it is important to take safety precautions to help prevent garage fires. Here are a few ideas to help make your garage a safer place:

Storage Safety:

  • When storing combustible liquids, try to keep them in small amounts and in a sealed, preferably fireproof, container.
    Keep all flammable materials away from heating sources.
  • Make sure the floor is clear of clutter such as paper or oily rags if you are doing work that may create sparks.
  • Store propane tanks outdoors.

Safety Equipment:

  • Place a fire extinguisher in your garage in an easy to access spot.
  • Equip your garage with a smoke detector. A carbon monoxide detector is also a good idea for safety.
  • Consider having a sprinkler system installed if you often use your garage as a workshop.

Safe Routines:

  • When cutting or sanding wood, sweep up any sawdust or wood chips immediately as these are often sources of garage fires.
  • After using paint, oil, or solvents, make sure the lids are tightly sealed and store them in a safe place.
  • Dispose of oily or gas soaked rags properly such as in a steel bucket with a tightly sealed lid and keep far from heat sources.
  • Make sure you don’t have any exposed wires that could create a spark.

Clear the Clutter – Organize your Garage

For too many of us, the garage becomes sort of a dumping ground for items that we don’t want in our house. Before long, you may find that you have less and less room to park or get out of your car. When it gets to that point, it’s probably a good idea to take some time and organize your garage. Here are few suggestions to help you clear the clutter:

Start with basic cleaning. Sweep or vacuum the floors to clean an area for organizing. Be careful not to step on any loose nails or screws that may be lying around. Also, steer clear of any oil stains that are in your garage. Kitty litter makes a good absorbent for heavy oil stains or spills. While you are cleaning, make note of any spiderwebs or evidence that any creatures, such as bats, have taken up residence in your garage.

During the basic cleaning, you can begin the decluttering process by tossing anything you know you aren’t going to keep in the trash. This way you don’t have to deal with it during the decluttering/decision making phase of what to toss and keep.

The decluttering process will allow you to assign a value to items in your garage. We suggest using the following values for items to help organize your garage:

  • Toss
  • Keep
  • Donate
  • Sell on Ebay / Garage Sale
  • Trash

If you have space, move all the items into your driveway. It’s a good idea to create zones to sort items. Use zone designations such as car supplies, sports equipment, tools, recycle center, Ebay, etc. to help organize. Some organizers like to divide their garages into department store zones (garden, automotive, paint, etc).

Once you have your items sorted into the proper categories, it’s time to assess how much space you will need to store the items back into your garage. Be sure to utilize your vertical space in your garage by using pegboards and shelving for storage space. It’s a good idea to have a lockable cabinet if you are storing any potentially harmful chemicals, especially if children are present.

Once you have everything stored in it’s proper place, be sure to take any items you plan on donating to a donation center right away. Return any items you may have borrowed from neighbors or family. Any left over items, consider a garage sale or even selling on Ebay.

Do you have any ideas for organizing a garage? Please share you comments and photo’s with us!