Chemical Storage

Some quick tips for safe chemical storage are:

  • Store in compatible containers that are in good condition with lids tightly closed.
  • Make sure all containers are labeled with contents and are oriented so label is visible. 
  • Date chemicals such as peroxide formers or chemicals that degrade over time when received and when opened. 
  • Date and include researcher's initials on chemicals generated by research that will be stored in the lab.
  • Store in groups based on compatibility.
    • Compatibility guidance is linked below.  You can also review the “Stability Reactivity” section of the SDS for a chemical for incompatibility information.
    • Where possible, use separate cabinets for separate groups.  Note:  Most fume hoods have a flammable cabinet and a vented corrosive cabinet under them.
    • If incompatible materials must be stored in the same cabinet, provide secondary containment and segregation.
  • Store acids in vented acid cabinets to reduce corrosion.
    • Separate oxidizing acids (e.g. nitric acid) from organic acids (e.g. acetic acid) by use of secondary containers if there is insufficient space to store separately.
  • Flammable liquid storage
    • Store bulk quantities in flammable storage cabinets
    • UL approved Flammable Storage Refrigerators are required for cold storage
  • Provide secondary containment for floor storage.
  • Do not store hazardous liquids above eye level.
  • On shelves, separate solids from liquids and store solids above liquids.
  • Do not stack chemicals on top of each other.   
  • Do not store items in the working space of fume hoods.  Minimize chemical storage in fume hoods.
  • Do not store flammable, volatile toxic, or corrosive chemicals in cold rooms.