Store Hazardous Materials

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Hazardous materials, by nature, can harm children or adults if you fail to store the dangerous substances safely. Proper storage reduces the risk of accidents involving hazardous materials. If the substance is ignitable, corrosive, toxic or reactive, then it is hazardous. A majority of household chemicals and materials fit these categories, including paint, motor oil, antifreeze, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, cleaning agents, adhesives, arts and craft materials, aerosol cans, propane cylinders, moth repellents, batteries, smoke detectors, televisions, cell phones and ammunition. Keep your family safe by properly treating, transporting, disposing of and storing all hazardous materials.


  1. Follow all the storage instructions on the product label. Storage requirements vary based on the hazardous property a material has.[1]
  2. Be sure to store all volatile products in well-ventilated areas. Fumes can be toxic to humans and animals.[2]
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  3. Make certain you store flammable products in the recommended temperature range. The containers will bulge if you store them in temperatures that are too high. Liquid materials will expand, freeze and burst if you store them in temperatures that are too low.[3]
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  4. Keep all hazardous materials out of the reach of children and away from all animals.[4]
    Store Hazardous Materials Step 4 Version 3.jpg
    • Buy products with safety lids whenever possible.
    • Put all hazardous materials stored in the house, garage or basement behind locked doors.
  5. Use the original container to store the hazardous material. If the label is lifting off, use a transparent tape to secure it.[5]
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  6. Reduce the amount of hazardous materials you keep in storage. Purchase only the amount necessary to complete your current job. You may find it better to discard leftover product rather than storing it. Just make sure you follow the proper process for disposing of hazardous materials.[6]
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  7. Do periodic maintenance storage areas.
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    • Look for problems inside each storage area on a regular basis. Be sure there are no apparent fumes.
    • Inspect all hazardous material containers. Make sure you can clearly see each label. The containers should be free of rust, bulges, dents or leaks.
    • Use a separate broom and dustpan for chemical cleanup. Be sure to lock these tools away when you are not using them.


  • In case of an emergency, call the poison control center. You may want to keep the telephone number posted near the phone.
  • Look for warnings on the labels of hazardous materials and follow any recommended guidelines.
  • It’s important to read the properties of hazardous materials before setting up a storage space. Knowing the chemical hazards and the material’s reactive properties will help you determine the proper storage requirements.
  • Remember to check labels on all products for recommended storage temperatures.
  • Follow all safety precautions on containers and avoid inhaling vapors.


  • Never put hazardous materials in food or beverage containers.
  • Never mix 2 or more chemicals together. They may react violently, producing toxins, or they may even become ineffective.
  • Do not store aerosol cans or flammable products near heat sources.

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