Hazards in the Garage

Updated February 21, 2017

According to "Realty Times," "the garage is a dangerous place to be. Your chances of slipping and falling, stepping on something sharp, or being hit on the head by a falling box is much higher than, say, getting bitten by a shark." Injuries that result from hazardous materials to clutter are more common than you might expect. Safety-proof your garage by following some helpful, precautionary steps.


Aerosol inhalation can be toxic. Aerosol sprays are made up of fine particles that can be easily inhaled. When exposed to heat or fire, the aerosol particles can become explosive. Aerosols should always be placed in cool areas in a garage and next to windows. Dispose of expired aerosols to prevent accidental leakage.


Most insecticides and pest-control solutions are dangerous as they contain inert chemicals. If inhaled or consumed, or come in contact with skin, these chemicals can cause brain damage, birth defects and internal bleeding. Follow the products directions for proper storage. Limit the amount of pesticides you store in the garage; the inert chemicals can leak out over time and create dangerous fumes in a garage space.

Auto Batteries

Over time, auto batteries that sit on the shelf can leak acid that is dangerous to the skin and eye. Don't allow batteries to expire or become corrosive. Discard of old, corroded batteries immediately as they can become explosive in a garage when they are near heat or other toxic materials and spills.

Auto Chemicals

Auto chemicals and finishes (motor oil, transmission fluid, car waxes, etc.) contain high amounts of toxic ingredients that should be kept in secure containers or cans. Any type of puncture to their containers, exposure to heat, or missing tops can increase the risk of exposure to its harmful chemicals. Auto chemicals, like aerosols, are more likely to be harmful in a closed garage because air circulation is at its lowest. Use these products outside in an open area to diffuse their harmful chemicals. Discard old auto chemicals immediately and according to their labels to prevent leakage or foul odour emissions. Store gasoline in small quantities and in appropriate canisters that are tightly sealed. Label all toxic materials.


Most paints are flammable and contain highly toxic chemicals. When applying paint in a garage, ventilate the area by opening the garage door or window. Limit aerosol paint usage. Use water-based paint products whenever possible to limit toxic fume inhalation. Never use or store paint in a garage near heat or flames.

Electrical Tools

Inspect electric tools before using to make sure there is no damage on wiring. When checking wires or cords for defects, look for cracking, fraying or other unusual signs of wire decay. Always unplug electrical tools and equipment when they are not in use. This will help prevent tools from overheating and prevent possible sparks and fires in the garage. Most importantly, inspect the plug for cracks or faulty prongs. Throw away or recycle defective power tools immediately.

Cleaning and Organization

Most injuries that take place in a garage come from slips and falls due to spills or unorganised clutter. Clear the area in a garage of clutter, tools and junk to open up the space to avoid tripping and falling. Prevent heavy items from falling by placing them closer to the ground. Keep the garage free of dust, spiderwebs and trash as they may interfere with the electrical system.

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