Basic Rules for Hazardous Chemical Storage:

  • Date all chemicals on receipt
  • Maintain a permanent inventory that is verified annually
  • Establish a separate and secure storage area for chemicals
  • Do not store chemicals in fume hoods or work areas
  • Label storage areas and cabinets to identify the hazardous nature of products stored within
  • Properly identify all unlabeled products before storing
  • Never store flammable chemicals in a standard domestic refrigerator
  • Storing chemicals on the floor, even temporarily, should be avoided
  • Chemicals should not be stored above eye level so that storage circumstances can always be easily evaluated (corroded containers or deteriorating container)
  • Any shelving within the storage area should be firmly secured to the floor and wall
  • Island shelf assemblies should be avoided unless they are secured to the ceiling
  • Lips on storage shelves are recommended to prevent bottles from falling off
  • Wooden shelves are best suited for general storage since they are less effective heat conductors, but metal shelves should be used for flammable to reduce fire hazards
  • Chemical storage under, over or near a sink should be avoided since many chemicals are affected by moisture and can become highly hazardous
  • Chemical storage should be away from heavily traveled areas
  • All storage cabinets or closets should be locked when not in use
  • Stored chemicals should be cool and dry and have caps and lids tightly closed; no chemical should be on the outside of the container
  • Stored chemicals should be arranged in compatible families rather than in alphabetical order
  • Extremely hazardous chemicals should be purchased in as small a quantities are possible
  • Post emergency telephone numbers in the chemical storage areas
  • Install smoke detectors and appropriate fire extinguishers in all chemical storage areas
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Last date changed: January 29, 2009