It’s not uncommon for people to store hazardous chemicals in their garage. Unfortunately, failure to follow proper safety precautions could have a handful of consequences in the future.
This is especially true for those who have pets or young children.
Luckily, is not as difficult as you might think. Let’s take a look at what you should know regarding how to store chemicals safely in your garage.
Label Your Chemicals Appropriately
Even if you keep your chemicals in their original containers, it’s highly common for labels to experience wear and tear as time goes on. Eventually, you might reach a point where the original label becomes difficult to read or is no longer visible.
Although the logical response here is to simply relabel the container, you might not fully remember what it had initially said. For this reason, it’s best to immediately write down or take a picture of the label information when you store a new chemical container in your garage.
In the event that you encounter a container with an unknown chemical inside, it’s in your best interest to merely dispose of it. Additionally, you should never inhale the chemicals fumes in order to identify it — this could easily result in severe damage to your health.
Keep Them in Their Original Containers
This is a mistake that many homeowners are often guilty of making.
It’s not uncommon for people to place chemicals into different containers than they were originally stored in. The issue here is that it can then become difficult to discern the quantity or type of chemical in the new container.
As you might expect, this carries a large amount of risk.
Additionally, the original containers for chemicals are specifically designed to be conducive to storage. There’s a chance that the new container may not be able to handle the chemicals you add to it, which could cause damage to the container.
Similarly, the chemical could corrode the inside of the container, which could result in the contamination of the chemical itself. If it’s imperative that you use a separate container for a specific type of chemical, be sure to use one of the same size and material.
Keep Them Out of Reach of Pets and Children
Pets and children are well-known for being curious. Unfortunately, this curiosity could easily lead to severe consequences if they are able to access containers that contain hazardous chemicals.
To help prevent this scenario, all you’ll need to do is keep your chemicals in a location that pets or children are able to access. a common mistake that homeowners make, though, is placing their chemical containers on a high shelf.
While this will easily disallow animals from making contact with the chemicals, many children are prone to climbing. So, be absolutely sure that there is no way a child would be able to access this location.
Since there is always the possibility of an accident happening, individuals who store chemicals in the garage also opt to administer a highly protective coating on the garage floor. This will prevent chemical erosion in case of a leak, spill, etc.
Protect the Chemicals From Extreme Temperatures
Many hazardous chemicals are also highly flammable. To make matters worse, they become significantly more dangerous when exposed to extreme temperatures. Even storing these containers in close proximity to a furnace or radiator could be enough to cause a chemical reaction.
Depending on the type of chemical and its overall volume, is also not impossible for an explosion to occur. Damage could also allow harmful fumes to escape from the container.
Use Secure Forms of Storage
Sometimes, storing chemicals in out-of-reach locations isn’t a possibility. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t keep these harmful substances sufficiently protected.
In these scenarios, homeowners typically opt for storage options that they can lock. This also comes with the added convenience of providing easy access to chemicals you frequently interact with. Some examples include oil, cleaners, or antifreeze.
After all, it wouldn’t be practical to climb up to the top of the shelf every time you needed to use these substances. As long as the form of storage you use is kept at an appropriate temperature, it will serve as an ideal way to ensure that your chemicals are properly secured.
Understand How to Handle an Emergency
Sometimes, issues arise no matter what type of precautions you take. In this scenario, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of how you should react.
If you do encounter a spill or leak, it’s essential that you contact Hazardous Waste Management or Poison Control immediately. Even if the situation appears to be minor, the chemicals could be extremely harmful if they come in contact with your skin.
Breathing in the fumes for an extended period of time could also cause you to pass out or experience damage to your lungs.
To stay as safe as possible, it’s best to write the contact information down for the above agencies and keep it somewhere accessible in your garage. A great location is right by the door leading into your home.
Knowing How to Store Chemicals in Your Garage Safely Is Essential
So, it’s imperative that you take this obligation seriously. From here, you’ll be able to ensure that you store chemicals appropriately and avoid any complications in the future.
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