Store chemicals safely

Chemicals pose a significant health threat if not handled and stored correctly. Follow these tips when storing your chemicals at home.

Know the hazard class

First find out the chemical's hazard class, it groups chemicals by similar feature, ie, flammable, gas under pressure, oxidiser, explosive. If hazardous, check the Safety Data Sheet. It will quickly tell you whether the chemical should be stored indoors or outdoors, whether it needs to be separated from other substances (or even light), and how much ventilation it needs.

Where to store chemicals


Outside, in an area with minimal traffic, is often the best place to store hazardous chemicals Outside storage areas benefit from natural ventilation and reduced human exposure to gas leaks and chemical spills. A chemical storage container that has been manufactured in full conformance to the Australian Standards is an excellent outdoor storage option.


For chemicals that react to heat and sunlight, outdoor storage is often not possible. You might also store chemicals indoors if your outdoor areas are exposed to a lot of traffic. And in some cases, there just is no outdoor areas available. When storing chemicals indoors you must implement some sort of ventilation system as well as a compliant spill containment bund.

How to store chemicals 

  • Never mix chemicals as this may produce dangerous reactions.
  • Wherever possible keep all chemicals in their original containers.
  • Ensure containers are clearly labelled. If you do not know the contents, label the container 'unknown chemical'.
  • Seal storing containers well. 

How to prepare for transport

  • Wrap containers holding liquids securely in newspaper, place in sturdy plastic bags and then in plastic buckets or trays to avoid leakage.
  • Keep household chemicals away from passengers, for example, by placing them in the boot of your car.

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Page last updated: 09 Dec 2021