To prevent avoidable injuries around the driveway and garage, leading garage door opener and accessories brand, Merlin along with Kidsafe are calling on families to take the 15-minute, ultimate garage safety test.
“Accidents at home can happen in a flash – especially when young kids or four-legged family members are involved.
“We’ve teamed up with Kidsafe to challenge all Aussie families to make their garage and driveway safer for the whole family. Taking the 15-minute test could save a life or prevent serious injury to a loved one,” says Grant Emanuel, Managing Director ANZ at Merlin.
Garage safety checklist
“From power tools and ladders to chemicals and cars, the garage has many potential dangers. Checking in and around the garage for risks should be a high priority for all families,” says Kidsafe spokesperson, Christine Erskine.
Families should spend 15 minutes to go through the following checklist to identify any potential safety risks that need to be addressed.
- Garage light is working and the area is well lit
- There is a smoke alarm with a working battery in the garage
- Shelves are anchored securely to the wall (freestanding garage shelves can cause accidents or injuries if children try to climb on them)
To the side
- The garage door button is mounted at least 1.5m high and is out of reach for children (remember – the garage door button is not a toy!)
- Ladders are stored and fixed horizontally
- Power tools are securely stowed and disconnected from power
- Any loose sports gear, like the kid’s netball, basketball and cricket bats are packed away
- Garage door remotes with coin/button batteries are child-resistant, must be secured with screw so that the remote cannot release the battery2
- The floor is clean and clear
- There are no trip hazards such as cracks or missing chunks in the garage floor
- Access ways are free of obstructions, such as bikes and scooters
- Any dangerous or toxic chemicals (such as paint, oil, gas) are sealed properly and stored in a locked cabinet out of reach of children
DIY Garage Safety Tests
After checking up high, to the side and down low, there are also three crucial safety tests to ensure the garage door opener is in good working order:
- Manual release cord on automatic garage door opener
- Automatic safety reverse
- If you have Merlin’s Protector System installed (Safety IR Beams), conduct a Safety Beam Protector System test
If a Merlin garage door opener is not acting as it should, families should urgently contact their Merlin dealer to assess the opener or call Merlin’s customer service team on 1800 638 234. For other garage door openers, contact the brand, or installer directly.
The scale of the problem
From trip hazards to chemicals and injury by vehicle, the garage has many potential safety risks. In Australia, the latest hospital data reveals that garage and driveway-related incidents are on the rise.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 3,871 driveway and 3,068 garage-related accidents resulted in hospitalisations in Australia between 1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021.
These figures represent an 11 per cent increase in driveway accidents, and 10 per cent rise in garage incidents in just 12 months (compared to July 2019-June 20203).
Photo Credit: Quentin Jones/thinkMammoth
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