How to Safely Store Hazardous Materials in Your Garage

 The garage is considered an all-purpose area in which we keep every household product that is deemed unsafe for storage inside day-to-day living spaces.

While the garage might be a separate area away from the family, it’s imperative you maintain strict safety within the area to help protect your family and those living nearby from potential contaminants.

There are a number of safety steps to keep in mind for the effective storage of hazardous materials in your garage. In this article, we’ll help keep you and your family safe with a few reminders on effective storage procedures.


First, Remove Items You’ll Never Use

We know how tempting it can be to keep that can of paint on-hand for a potential job in the future. But is it worth compromising home safety? The first step you can take to achieve hazardous material storage safety is getting rid of products you don’t use. Get rid of those old cleaning solutions and leftover paints. For Grand Rapids residents, you can safely dispose of these hazardous materials through Kent County’s Department of Public Works.


Store Hazardous Material in its Original Container

In achieving optimal garage safety, it’s important you never switch a liquid from one container to another. While you might be able to conserve space with a smaller container, the original container will provide the warning label for the product. This will help provide information on the actions to achieve safe hazardous material storage.


Store Flammable Products Away from Direct Sunlight

You should keep products such as propane gas, kerosene and other flammables away from direct sunlight to reduce the chances of fire. These products should be kept in cool, dark areas that are highly stable. In addition, they should be kept as low to the ground as possible to prevent the container from breaking and spilling.


Keep Children and Pets Away from the Garage

It’s imperative that, if you have children or pets, you keep them away from the immediate area of the garage. Children should be taught that they can only enter the garage if they’re supervised by either yourself or another responsible adult.

If you are only storing a few materials, lock them in a storage room or case to prevent anyone from accidently entering. To keep your entire garage secure, it’s important that you have a strong, durable garage door to prevent unwanted entry as well.


In an Emergency, Report it to Local Authority

In the event that you spill hazardous waste such as corrosive liquid in the home or yard, it’s important to contact your local poison control or hazardous waste management department. In Grand Rapids, contact the city’s office. They will be able to provide you with direct instructions on how to manage the spill. Don’t try to clean-up the spill without speaking to experts first. No matter how much protective equipment you use, the product could react unexpectedly, potentially causing further harm to you or those around you.


Safe storage and removal of household waste can help keep your family safe for the long-term. Make sure your household materials are safe and secure and you’ll be able to keep your garage space at its functional best.