Storing hazardous products in your home is a necessary evil. There are steps you should take to lessen the danger involved with storing these items in your home.

First be sure to always store hazardous items in as few places as logistically possible- don’t spread them throughout your home. Keeping these items together will lessen the risk they pose. The best place to keep these materials are outside the living space of your home in a garage or shed. Always keep these materials away from furnaces, heat, flames and sparks. If you have pets or children in your home make sure that the products you are storing are kept out of reach. The best places to store these products under those circumstances are a high shelf or locked cabinets. Always opt for storage places that are cool, dry and away from anything that could become cross contaminated.

If you are looking to consolidate, or collect the hazardous products in your home, the bathroom is a good place to start. Look at the items in your medicine cabinet. Make sure that all medications are kept in their original, clearly marked container out of reach of any children in the home.

The next step in this process is collecting items that are corrosive and/ or flammable. Corrosive products include drain cleaners, lye and oven cleaner. Check to make sure that the packaging on these products has not begun to corrode. If the packaging is damaged, place it into a plastic bucket with a top that fits. You can pack non-flammable absorbent materials around the corrosive product to lower the risk of further corrosion. Ensure that flammable products like motor oil and gasoline are stored in approved containers outside of the living space. Be sure that there is no chance of a spark or flame coming into contact with these materials. Keep a sodium bicarbonate near where these products are stored in case of a fire. Combustibles can ignite if left to rest for too long. If you cannot use the product in a timely fashion, place them in an airtight container away from the house until you can dispose of it at a landfill that accepts these products.

Not all stored products that pose a risk seem dangerous. Paint is something almost every home has stored somewhere. Paint should be properly stored, face down with the lid tightly secured. If you only have a small amount of paint remaining it may be best to let it dry so you can dispose of it in the trash. Some painting supply stores will accept your unused paint for recycling, so you can check with them before throwing it away.