Tag Archive 'safety tips'

Apr 06 2011

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The Garage Plan Shop: How to Make Your Garage Greener

Garage Plan 050G-0035It is no secret that people use their garage for more than just parking the family cars. Whether attached or detached, garage plans can have a wide range of functions ranging from parking and storage of the lawn mower to a storage space for toys, workshop, office, or rainy day play space for the kids. It is also a great place to load and unload the kids and groceries. As much as we use our garages, it is necessary that we do as much as we can to make our garages green and pollutant free giving the whole family a healthier garage space to use. The Garage Plan Shop, recommends the following tips for greening your garage and making it more healthy:

 

  1. Get rid of hazardous substances: Removing hazardous substances from your garage is the most immediate thing you can do to make it more green and healthy for everyone. Often, the garage is a storage space for gas cans, oil containers, weed killers, fertilizers, paints and stains and cleaning supplies, not to mention chlorine and other pool chemicals for homeowners with a backyard pool. Go through your garage carefully reading labels on all of these items. Determine which of these items you need or want to keep and choose another storage space for them away from the home such as a backyard garden shed. Keep it locked so it is inaccessible to children. Responsibly get rid of anything you do not need to keep. Contact your local hazardous waste facility to find out about proper disposal.
  2. Seal your garage walls and insulate: If you have an attached garage, it is necessary to seal off cracks between the garage and adjacent rooms. This will stop the passage of contaminated air into the living areas. Seal up cracks where the drywall meets the floor or framing with caulk or expanding foam. Don’t forget to seal around duct work, electrical boxes, vents and lighting. If you don’t already have insulation in the walls where living spaces are attached to your garage, add it. Insulation acts as an extra barrier against air filtration.  
  3. Install and exhaust fan: In most cases, the garage is the primary space to store your cars. Unless you drive an electric vehicle, your car exhausts pollutants, fumes and odors every time you start it. If you garage is attached to your home, these pollutants and fumes can seep into your home. Not only does your car exhaust carbon monoxide, but it also emits sulfur dioxide, dust and other particulates that are not healthy to breathe. Install an exhaust fan to remove these harmful gases and particles from your garage. The size and positioning of your exhaust fan will depend on the size of your garage, so consult a professional before you make a purchase.

 

Whether you have an attached or detached garage, these tips will help protect you and your family from contaminated air and pollutants making your garage green, healthy and safe for everyone.

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Feb 09 2011

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8 Important Security Tips for your Detached Garage Plan

006G-0014 Detached Garage PlanSecurity for a detached garage plan is often overlooked, but it is important to note that a detached garage is a great target for vandals and thieves. Whether you actually store your cars in your detached garage or not, it is very likely your garage holds plenty of other expensive tools and equipment that may be of interest to potential burglars. Below are eight tips to help you keep your detached garage and everything inside it safe and secure.

 

1.    Make sure your garage door is in good working condition. Check the garage door for cracks, loose panels, broken window panes and other damaged areas. Have the garage door repaired or replaced as soon as possible before a criminal discovers these weak points and pries the garage door open.

2.    Lock doors and windows when you are not in the garage. Having quality locks on all doors and windows will deter potential break-ins.

3.    Lock the garage door from the inside. Criminals are getting smarter. Even with a quality garage door opener, criminals can still get in your garage by rolling the door up with a little effort. If your garage door has locks, use them.

4.    Never leave your garage door open if it isn’t necessary, even if you are home. An open garage door easily displays your garage and all the contents inside to anyone traveling along your street so they know what valuables you have inside. A passer-by might see something he or she wants, such as a new bike or your prized motorcycle, and come back to steal it. Keeping the garage door closed also deters vandals. If someone looking to “have a good time” spots your sparkling ski boat or a restored vehicle in the garage, the open garage door just gave them an invitation to come back later and ransack the garage and damage your valuable possessions inside.

5.    Do not leave the garage door cracked for ventilation. Even the slightest crack at the bottom of the garage door provides an opportunity for break-ins.

6.    Use outdoor lighting and security cameras to deter criminals and thieves. Burglars know most detached garages are unoccupied at night. Since the detached garage is not connected to the home, it is easy to break-in and not be noticed. Lighting and security cameras will make potential burglars think twice.

7.    Stealing garage door openers out of cars is becoming a growing problem. Keep your call locked at all times even if you are in the house or the backyard. If you discover your garage door opener has been taken from your car change the frequency and code to your garage door opener immediately.

8.     If you have a home security system for your home, consider adding the security system to you detached garage as well.

 

Homeowners often overlook the security of their detached garage. Following these tips from The Garage Plan Shop will help make your garage and the things inside it safe and secure.

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Dec 01 2010

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7 Home Safety Tips: Protect your Home during the Holidays

The holidays are quickly approaching. If you are like the rest of us, you are busy preparing for holiday get-togethers and dinner parties, mailing holiday greeting cards, finishing up your shopping list and planning visits to family and friends. But something else should be on your “to-do” list that probably isn’t. Home safety. While we are focused on celebrating on the joys of the season, burglars are watching and waiting. During the holiday season, many of us get caught up in the festivities and let our guard down when it comes home safety making it an opportune time for burglars to strike when we least expect it. Below are seven tips to help protect your home, family and belongings during the holiday season.

 

  1. Whether you’re home all day, on an errand to the store or out for town for the week, be sure to keep all windows and doors locked. This includes the garage door and service door between the garage and the home. Burglars know the holiday season is an opportune time for breaking-in as many homes have extra valuables inside not to mention extra cash on hand, and homeowners are often away from their homes. Locked doors and windows deter potential break-ins.
  2. When you change your home’s décor from its everyday styling to holiday themed decorating, keep it simple and modest. Expensive and showy holiday decorations and elaborate light displays are a signal to criminals there may be plenty of valuables inside your home. In addition, do not leave wrapped gifts under the tree in full view from exterior windows. These are an invitation to burglars to break-in when you aren’t home. Keep wrapped gifts stashed away in closets and storage spaces until the last minute.
  3. Be sure your home is well-lit inside and out and the yard is well-groomed. Not only does this add to curb appeal, but it is an important safety measure. The more lighting you have inside your home and in your yard (including along sidewalks and around the garage), the less dark places for thieves to lurk and hide at night. Likewise, follow the 3 foot/6 foot rule when it comes to trees and shrubs in your yard. Trim bushes down to no more than three feet tall and trim trees up at least six feet off the ground minimizing hiding places for criminals. This also provides a clear view of your home from the street. 
  4. If you plan to travel out of town this holiday season, only mention your trip to the people who absolutely need to know you’ll be gone. Furthermore, do not mention you’ll be traveling on any of the social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. If a potential criminal discovers you’ll be gone, it won’t take much legwork to find your address and know just when to break-in your home. 
  5. In addition, do not mention or discuss valuable holiday gifts via social media. A post like, “Got a new sound system for the home theater for X-mas,” becomes common knowledge instantly. If a criminal happens upon this information, all he or she will have to do now is watch your house and wait for you to leave. Within minutes, that new sound system will not be yours any longer.  
  6. If you do not use social media, do not think you are exempt from the risk of burglary. As soon as you put the empty boxes and packaging from your new sound system in the trash can or next to it at the curb, you’ll be telling the whole neighborhood and all the passers-by that you have something valuable in your home. Use caution when throwing away packaging from “big ticket” gifts. Burglars know what to look for and some even cruise streets and neighborhoods looking for boxes, cartons and trash signaling valuable gifts inside a home. As soon as you leave your house, your new sound system is as good as gone. Instead of throwing away all of the packaging or the entire box at one time, break it down or cut it into smaller pieces. Recycle or dispose of the smaller pieces a little bit at a time so not to attract attention.   
  7. If you have plans to travel this holiday season, take advantage of a home security system if possible. If you already have one, you are in good shape. However, if you do not have a security system and can afford one, considering having it installed as soon as possible. If you do not have a security system and cannot afford one, take a few smaller steps like installing motion sensor lights along walkways, porches and driveways. Solar lights work well too, as you won’t have to manually turn them on or off. Inside, set your lights and TVs on timers. Have them turn on in various parts of the home at different times of the day. Consider asking a trusted neighbor to park in your driveway intermittently while you are away. Also ask a neighbor to collect mail and newspapers or stop these services until you return home. It is a good idea to notify your local police department as well and request a car drive past your home periodically while you are out of town. If you ask a neighbor to park in your driveway, identify the vehicle to the police.

   

As you look forward to celebrating the holiday season, The Garage Plan Shop recommends you add these home safety precautions to your holiday “to-do” list protecting your home, family and belongings.

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Oct 06 2010

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5 Fire Safety Tips: Fire Prevention Week 2010 - The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Miscellaneous, Safety

House FireThe Garage Plan Shop has a few fire safety tips to share with you for Fire Prevention Week. These tips and safe practices will help protect you, your family, your pets and your home from potential home fire damage and injury. Be smart and follow safe fire prevention practices.

 

1.    Install Smoke Detectors and Maintain Them: Smoke detectors are proven to be an important tool in saving lives and preventing injuries as a result of home fires. Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for installation and test the detectors once a week. Replace batteries twice a year following this rule of thumb: Replace batteries when daylight savings time begins and ends (each time you set your clocks back or forward one hour.) Also replace batteries when the smoke detector chirps signaling the battery is dead. Never remove batteries from the detectors for other uses or disconnect them.

2.    Plan Your Escape and Practice: If a fire breaks out in your home, get out fast! Once you are out of the house, DO NOT go back inside. Plan two escape routes from each room in the home and choose a specific meeting place outside the home where the entire family can gather (i.e. the mailbox across the street or a neighbor’s driveway.) Practice your escape plan at least two times a year with all family members.

3.    Learn and Practice STOP, DROP and ROLL: Even small children can learn this basic lifesaving rule. If your clothes or you body catches on fire, do not run. Instead, stop where you are, drop to the ground or floor and roll over and over to smother the flames. Also, cover your face to protect it and prevent lung damage by inhaling smoke. Practice this technique with every family member.

4.    Crawl Low Below Smoke: If you encounter smoke following your primary escape route, use your alternate route. However, if you must travel through smoke, drop to the floor or ground and crawl on your hands and knees. Clean air will be just above the floor.

5.    Get a Fire Extinguisher and Learn How to Use It: Buy a fire extinguisher for your home. If you have a large house, consider having a fire extinguisher on each level including the basement. Put it/them in places that are easy to access, but out of the reach of small children. Sometimes using a fire extinguisher with a small home fire before the fire department arrives will make a huge difference in saving your home and belongings. However, it is necessary that you use good judgment. If it is a large fire, do not try to use the fire extinguisher. Exit your home immediately and wait for the tire department to arrive. It is not worth risking your life.

 

Following these fire safety practices will increase your chances of escaping death or injury in a fire. Look for more information about fire prevention and safety in an upcoming Garage Plan Shop blog.

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