Storage Tips

  • Use containers that are compatible with the contents.
  • Locate container on stable surface that prevents sliding or tilting. Never store chemicals on the floor, even temporarily.
  • Store chemical in compatible chemical families Storage Guidelines.
  • The most common groups of segregation are flammables, oxidants, reducers, concentrated acids, concentrated bases, water reactives, extreme toxics, peroxide formers, pyrohorics, and bottled gas cylinders.
  • The quantities of chemicals that are stored within a laboratory should always be minimized.
  • Bulk quantities of chemicals should be stored in a separate storage area.
  • Transfer of flammable liquid from 5 gallon or larger metal containers should not be done in the laboratory.
  • Chemicals must be stored at an appropriate temperature and humidity level. Chemicals should not be stored near heat sources, such as steam pipes, or laboratory ovens.
  • Chemicals should be dated when received and when opened.
  • Materials and their containers should be inspected routinely. Indications for disposal include:
    -- Cloudiness in liquids
    -- Material changing colors
    -- Evidence of liquid in solids or solid in liquids
    -- Signs of container leakage
    --  Indication of pressure build up within container
    -- Obvious container deterioration
  • Chemical should not routinely be stored on the bench tops. Each chemical should have a specific storage location and be returned there after use. Only amounts needed should be kept on bench tops.
  • Laboratory shelves should have a raised lip along the outer edge to prevent containers from falling.
  • Liquid or corrosive chemicals should never be stored on shelves above eye level.
  • Secondary containers or trays should be used for chemical storage to minimize the flow of material should a spill or rupture occur.
  • Round bottom flasks must always be properly supported in cork rings or otherwise to prevent tipping.
  • Security must be provided to prevent unauthorized access to hazardous chemicals.
  • Flammable materials must never be stored in a domestic-type refrigerator. Only explosion proof or flammable material refrigerators should be used for storage of laboratory chemicals.
  • All containers stored in refrigerators should be properly labeled and tightly capped.
  • Inventory the materials stored in your refrigerator frequently and defrost occasionally to prevent chemicals from becoming trapped in the ice formations.
  • Before storing chemicals in a refrigerator determine if keeping the material chilled will serve any purpose.
  • Never store peroxide formers (i.e., ether) in a refrigerator.
  • Never store materials or chemicals in a fume hood. This will seriously impair the ventilating capacity of the hood.
  • Gas cylinders must be securely strapped separately to a permanent structure (wall, lab bench, etc.).
  • Gas cylinders must be capped when not in use.

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