Keep hazardous materials stored properly and out of reach of kids and pets.

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.

Steps to storing these materials:

  1. Follow all the storage instructions on the product label. Storage requirements vary based on the hazardous property a material has.
  2. Be sure to store all volatile products in well-ventilated areas. Fumes can be toxic to humans and animals.
  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.
  4. Keep all hazardous materials out of the reach of children and away from all animals.
    • 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.
  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.
  7. Do periodic maintenance storage areas.
    • 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.

If a family member ingests or swallows these hazardous materials,
call Poison Control as soon as possible at 1-800-222-1222.


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