Chemical Storage Guidelines

Proper storage of chemicals is imperative to eliminate the chance of mixing of incompatible substances. Follow the guidelines listed below and group chemicals according to chemical classification to increase the level of safety in the lab or work area.

  • Label all containers using common chemical name. Indicate the percent of chemical makeup in the solution.
  • Flammable and combustible liquids/materials must never be stored in regular refrigerators (University Policy 7-14, Purchase and Safe use of Refrigeration Products).
  • Store chemicals according to manufacturer recommendations (i.e. desiccated, refrigerated, under inert atmosphere).
  • Carefully read the label and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) before storing a hazardous chemical.
  • Do not store unsegregated chemicals in alphabetical order. Only do so in segregated groupings.
  • Do not store incompatible chemicals in close proximity to each other. For example, reactive sulfides and cyanides should be stored away from acids because of the potential to generate poisonous gases upon mixing.
  • Store liquids below eye level.
  • Use secondary containers for all liquids and highly toxic chemicals (that are compatible and of adequate size to capture all effluent).
  • Ensure that caps and lids are secure on containers. Replace damaged lids immediately.
  • Periodically check peroxide forming chemicals for peroxide concentration. Contact Department of Environmental Health & Safety (DEHS) if peroxide formation is noted.
  • Heat and direct sunlight should be avoided.

For additional Compatibility information please refer to the web sites below:

If you have any questions please contact contact the Chemical Hygiene Officer at or call 302-831-8475.