Garage door automation manufacturer, Merlin (part of the Chamberlain Group) is calling on Aussie families to consider the garage for family fun, while the family is home for the foreseeable future.
“The garage is also a great space to foster creativity in children. The large open space means you can organise a stress-free activity like craft, painting or drawing that’s fun for the kids and gives the dining table (and parents) a break,” explains Grant Emanuel, Marketing Director International, Chamberlain Group.
While the garage is a great space for activities, it’s also important to ensure it remains a safe space.
“Whether it is at home, at the shops or in a large-scale residential complex, garage doors are large, heavy and powerful, so ensuring your garage door is safe is crucial,” says Grant.
Merlin’s current range of garage door openers are compliant with Australian and New Zealand standards and have safety entrapment protection, to ensure they stop and reverse the door when it comes into contact with an object (such as a wandering child or pet), giving parents extra peace of mind.
Here are a few tips to create a safe and fun garage environment for kids.
1. Make it cosy and unique
The best thing about the garage is that you can use it however you like; it’s all up to you! If kids are using the garage to play, it’s important to make sure that the garage is a safe and comfortable space.
Using rubber squares on the floor will make it soft and easy to walk, crawl or sit on as they play! You could even add some beanbags or cushions for some extra comfort.
2. Easy clean up
If you’re looking for a place where the kids can have fun (and make a little mess), the garage could be your best friend!
For budding artists in your household, a little craft corner is a great way to foster creativity. The garage is generally easier to clean than carpet or tiles, so it’s the perfect place for painting, drawing or craft.
3. Use your imagination
A garage can have so many different uses! You can create a corner reading nook with a bookshelf and some comfy bean bag chairs, or an arts and crafts corner with a chalkboard wall for drawing.
As cinemas are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can even use your garage as a movie theatre with a projector and some comfy cushions!
4. Teach your kids about the importance of being safe around the garage door
Unfortunately, action stars like Indiana Jones make sliding under a closing door look like a great idea, but as the largest moving object in the home, garage doors should never be played with.
Make sure your kids know to keep well away from a moving door and not to run under it, and to keep all toys and play equipment at a safe distance.
Children are also naturally very curious, and buttons can be very tempting to press, especially if children are bored of being cooped up! Keep wall mounted buttons and remote controls out of reach of children.
5. Consider installing safety beams
Designed to increase the safety and functionality of automated garage doors, safety beams are an additional feature that garage owners can add to their doors to protect their family and belongings.
Safety beam systems use invisible light beams that extend across the opening of your garage door. If this beam is broken during operation, the door will stop and immediately reverse to avoid injury or damage.
Safety beams, such as the Merlin Protector System (Safety IR Beams), can be easily installed by a qualified Merlin dealer.
This article was first published in The Fence magazine.