The garage is a place where you keep big, heavy and dangerous items. It also consists of what probably is the hugest piece of your home — the garage door. That’s why it’s very important to maintain a safe and secure garage. Otherwise it can endanger the safety of your family in more ways than one. Children can meet accidents or yours might be prone to robbery and break-ins.
There are garage and garage door regulations in Canada. Whether you are installing a new door or would like to maintain yours as safe as possible, then keep the following information in mind.
Garage General Requirements
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety reminds us of the following garage safety tips:
- Keep wiring, heating and ventilation systems in good condition.
- Provide adequate lighting with no glare; supply additional local lighting for hazardous procedures to ensure increased vision and reduced eye strain and fatigue.
- Replace any flickering fluorescent tubes – the “strobe” effect may make some moving parts appear as not moving.
- Designate separate areas for operations such as welding, cleaning, painting, lubricating and battery maintenance.
- Allow adequate floor space for the volume of work expected.
- Provide a clean lunchroom and washroom that are separate from the work area.
- Do not block or hinder access to fire extinguishers, doorways, and emergency exits.
- Ensure that emergency lighting works.
- Ensure good ventilation. All running engines (vehicles, lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc.) produce carbon monoxide. Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause headaches, sleepiness, loss of consciousness and death. It is also a flammable gas.
In terms of storing materials in the garage, the CCOHS writes:
- Cross-tie piles.
- Do not use damaged cartons.
- Allow nothing to overhang.
- Do not overload.
- Place wedges beside stock the will roll
- Keep aisles clear.
- Place heavy items on shelves at waist height. Identify the weight of unfamiliar loads and load limits on shelving.
- Clearly label all chemicals and materials. Check the material safety data sheet (MSDS) or safety data sheet (SDS) for storage and handling instructions. Contact the manufacturer if you require more information.
- Label flammable and combustible materials clearly and store in a separate place, away from heat and ignition sources. Laws may require separate rooms or cabinets. Check with your local authorities.
- Use only approved safety containers for flammable and combustible liquids.
- Ground and bond containers when transferring flammable liquids from one container to another.
- Store compressed gas cylinders upright, and secure with chain or brackets.
- Store and dispose of waste oils and fluids according to local by-laws or environmental regulations.
- Close valves on empty cylinders. Make sure valve protection caps are in place.
- Keep fuel gas cylinders and petroleum products separate from oxygen cylinders.
- Do not smoke or use matches near flammable materials.
- Do not store combustible material, such as paper or work clothes, near heating units.
- Do not eat in shop areas. Always wash hands before eating (or smoking) to prevent transfer of contaminants from your hands to your mouth.
Garage Door By-Laws
Below, we quote the City of Toronto By-Law No. 930-2000, which is also similar in other cities of Canada. The following are some of the laws that surround garage doors in the area.
The Property Standards By-Law<br /> 21.3 “All exterior doors, windows, skylights and basement hatchways, including storm and screen doors and storm windows, shall be maintained in good repair and free from defects and missing components.”
- Garage doors; exit doors. A. “If a garage door allows for vehicular ingress or egress from a parking or storage area, and is equipped with an automatic closing mechanism, the garage door shall be equipped with a sensing device that does not allow the door to close when any person, animal or object is crossing it’s path.”
“Safeties” in the industry:
Level 1: Air hose system – not close to the door; will fail if has holes; works intermittently in extreme cold weather & may not function.
Level 1: Bottom Gum Hose Edge – under the door; if holes in the gum hose, will not function.
Level 2: Loop Detector system – not close to the door; detects vehicles but will not protect pedestrians or bicycles. Level 2: Exterior Motion Sensor – not close to the door & may not protect pedestrians; re-sets the timer-to-close.
Level 2: Photo Eye System (emitter/reflective); not monitored which means door may function normally even though safety is not working ie. if safety defective or damaged; if working properly will reverse door when beam is broken with object, vehicle or person.
Level 2: MillerEdge System, 2-wire, electric bottom edge/FeatherEdge System – bottom pneumatic edge, under the door; not monitored which means door may function normally even though safety is not working ie. if safety defective or damaged; if working properly will reverse door when it comes into contact with object, vehicle or person. This safety is in the same plane & pathway of the door.
Level 3.a.: Photo Eye System (emitter/receiver); monitored – which means electric opener will not function at all if “monitored safety” is not working! – will reverse door when beam is broken by object, vehicle or pedestrian.
Level 3.b.: MillerEdge System, 4-wire, electric bottom edge; monitored – which means electric opener will not function at all if “monitored safety” is not working! – to be installed when Photo Eye System cannot be mounted close to the door e.g. Counterweight system; will reverse door when comes into contact with object, vehicle or pedestrian.