Commercial enterprises are very careful in their handling and disposal of hazardous chemicals in their factories and facilities. The same care should be observed by ordinary households because dangerous chemicals are not respecter of persons. In a typical household, these types of chemicals are mostly stored in the garage. Therefore, you should be careful in storing and disposing chemicals in your garage for the sake of your family. What are the safe and proper ways to store and dispose chemicals in your garage? Here are some safety tips in this regard.
- Make an inventory of all chemicals you bring in to your garage.
One of the reasons why people get hurt by hazardous chemicals is that they don’t know what they are dealing with. So, your first line of defense is to acquaint yourself with the chemical products that you store in your garage and their ingredients and contents. For instance, automotive products such as brake fluids, transmission fluids and related items are also flammable stuff. An article with the title “What Auto Fluids Burn” revealed that “the unintended release of fluids such as engine coolant, windshield washer fluid and automatic transmission fluid can, under certain circumstances, lead to conditions which can cause a vehicle fire.” You don’t want to have these substances just lying around and cause a fire in your home.
- Don’t store incompatible chemicals near each other.
Unwanted chemical reactions can result if you store incompatible substances near each other. If given enough time, they can cause accidents in your home such as a fire. That is why it is important for you to distinguish the chemical components of every automotive substance and chemicals that you want to store in your garage.
- Store hazardous chemicals where they can’t be reached by children.
This brings us to the next rule of storing and disposing chemicals in your garage. Store them where they can’t be accessed by your kids and other unauthorized persons. Lock them in a cabinet so that they can’t be taken just by anybody without you knowing it. Keep the chemicals in their original containers. Whenever there is an unused amount of that particular chemical, return it back to its original packing and don’t just throw it away or leave it lying on the garage floor.
- Store flammable substances in fire-resistant cabinets.
Storing flammable chemicals in fire-resistant cupboards and cabinets will help minimize their chances of catching flames in case of a fire.
- Store dangerous chemicals away from any heat source.
Store your hazardous chemicals in an area far from the sun’s rays and radiators. If possible, store them in a cool, dry and well-ventilated place in your garage.
- Don’t store containers of hazardous chemicals on top of each other.
Place the containers of your hazardous chemicals on equal level on the garage floor or shelf. If they are placed on top of each other, their chances of tipping over are increased.
- Make sure that the container lids are tight.
Ensure that the lids of the hazardous chemical containers are tight and that there are no fumes or strange smell emanating from them.
- Don’t pour or throw hazardous chemicals on your garage floor or storm drains.
Intentionally throwing the left-over of any chemical or automotive fluid on your garage floor is a big no-no. The residues of these fluids on the floor will make your garage an unsafe place. Additionally, you should not pour these substances into the storm drain. That will pollute the body of water where the storm drain is leading to.
- Give these unwanted automotive fluids to your local Household Hazardous Waste Collection depot.
There should be one such hazardous waste collection station in your neighborhood. Either you bring your waste materials to them or you can call their local representative and have your waste materials picked up by their authorized personnel. Some of the used automotive fluids can be recycled and your local collection station might have some ways to process these waste fluids and turn them into usable substances. Or they can give the waste fluids to a recycling plant.
- Don’t burn used oil.
Burning used oil will unleash harmful substances in the air which are detrimental to your health. Remember that automotive oil is made up of special chemicals that are not fit for human and animal consumption. Burning them will also degrade the environment.
Stay safe and keep your home safe by following these few easy tips.