Along with cars, tools, lawn equipment, bikes and kids toys, garages are typically the storage area for many households, including any specialty chemicals you use in your day-to-day lives. While most of your family’s time is spent inside the house, proper garage chemical storage is essential to keeping your family safe. Here’s a look at some things you’ll need to think about when storing chemicals of all sorts in your garage.
Everyone is guilty of it from time to time; saving an old coffee can or pretzel barrel, insisting that you’ll use it for something eventually. While they’re great for organizing hardware, chemicals should never be kept in anything other than the container they’re sold in, even household cleaners. Manufacturers produce chemicals and pack them into containers that are rated for safe storage of whatever is inside. Yes, the plastic can be different from one container to another and could become contaminated or even melt when you put something foreign in it.
What Is That?
The labels of some household cleaners and the like can wear off after some time, and while you may think you’ll be able to remember what was originally in each container, many chemicals look and even smell alike. Keep all chemicals properly labeled so you know what you’re working with down the road. If you come across an unmarked container in your garage, you’re better off disposing of it properly. Never sniff to identify any chemical — noxious fumes can result in injury.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
If you have kids or pets in your household, keeping chemicals out of reach is even more important. Because kids are naturally curious, and chemicals are often times very colorful or interesting, storing them on a shelf high out of reach is paramount for safety. Consider the height of your children, as well as their ability to climb and adjust your storage accordingly.
Lock It Up
If you’re the mechanical type, most chemicals in your garage include things like antifreeze, parts cleaner and oils, so storing them on an out-of-reach shelf may not be enough. These chemicals could be highly volatile near an open flame. If this is the case for your garage, you may want to consider investing in a garage chemical storage cabinet. Not only will they keep everything inside out of the reach of little hands, but, in some cases, they’re also fire resistant.
Regardless of your mechanical acumen, you most likely have chemicals at your home. Although they can be helpful, these same chemicals can also be lethal if handled incorrectly. Proper labels, and appropriate storage can keep you and your family safe.
Check out all the chemical products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on storing chemicals, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Image courtesy of Flickr.
Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.