10 Ways to be Safe and Secure around the Garage and Driveway
Fri, 30 Nov 2018
Driveways are part of most New Zealand homes and something we use every day. Entering and exiting the driveway and garage can feel like second nature, but it is in fact one of the most risk-prone zones of your home. The garage door itself is another safety consideration. It’s the largest moving object in your home and as such, can cause serious injury. Garage doors can vary dramatically in the safety features they include.
The statistics on driveway injuries are sobering:
Five children are killed on driveways each year in New Zealand.
A child is admitted to Starship Hospital every fortnight.
Most children injured are aged five years and younger, a large portion of those are toddlers.
Common injuries include brain damage, limb fractures and abdomen and chest injuries.
68% of accidents happen when a car is reversing; 32% occur when a car is going forward.
Most injuries happen to children on their home driveway. In more than 30% of cases, the child’s parent is driving.
What is more important than the safety of our tamariki? Here are ten ways to consider safety around your garage and driveway:
- Check for children before you drive, including when using the garage! Don’t lose focus on this because of rushing or because you do it every day. There are blind zones of up to 10m behind a car and 3m around the
vehicle where drivers cannot see a small child. Remember to look for neighbours’ children as well as your own.
- Supervise children around vehicles, hold their hand tightly! Shut the door securely when you leave the house so that children cannot run out after you. Find out where everyone is before you get into the car - put children in the car with you if there is no one to supervise them when you need to move a vehicle.
- Separate play areas from driveways. If your driveway borders a play area, fence it. Talk to neighbours about taking care on shared driveways.
- Remember that children are used to being around vehicles, they see them as ‘friendly’, unlike darkness or deep water. Consequently, they will get into or out of cars and move around vehicles without fear.
- Have an Infra-red Safety Beam fitted to your garage door opener. If the safety beam is broken by a child or pet running under the garage door while it is closing, the door will stop and reverse without making contact. Garador recommends the use of safety infra-red beams on all automatic garage doors.
- Install an Entry Keypad. This a great way to provide security for family members. They need only remember their pin number to gain access to the garage, no more worries about hiding keys around the home or locating garage door opener transmitters. The keypad should be out of reach of small children - as should any transmitters.
- Smart Phone Control. Garador’s Smart Phone Control Kit uses an app that acts as a garage door control, and notifies you when the door is being opened and closed. So, if by chance your children lose or forget their keys, you can open the garage door from your phone - from anywhere in the world*. Any time someone uses the garage door, your Smart Phone Kit will send a notification to you. That’s great peace of mind for you and security for your family. * Subject to cellular and WiFi connection and availability. Note - Kit includes Smart Hub & accessories. Phone not included.
- Reversing Cameras and alarms can be useful - but are not failsafe! Do not rely on these alone. You must still check for children EVERY time.
- Drive out forwards if possible - slowly, after checking. Remember, 32% of driveway injuries sill happen when a car is driving forwards.
- Footpaths also count. Please stop and check the footpath every time you cross it.
Below, right: Driveway sports can be a great option, but ONLY with supervision.
Above, left: There’s more than one blind spot…
Please remember to ALWAYS
CHECK for children before driving off
SUPERVISE children around vehicles - always
SEPARATE play areas from driveways
For more information, please visit these websites: