The Basics of Hazardous Materials Storage

Whether you’re a demolition professional or a weekend warrior, the proper storage of hazardous materials is of the utmost importance. If the wrong materials are stored together, stored at improper temperatures, improper containers, or unstable environments, toxic exposure, fire, or even explosive situations can occur. 

What are the most basic protocols for storing hazardous materials in various quantities?

Unless otherwise officially noted, all hazardous materials should be stored in sealed or closed packages and containers. When possible, the original containers for the contents should be utilized to ensure the stability of the vessel itself. All storage packages or containers should always be appropriately labeled—along with the associated risk the material poses (flammability, toxicity, etc.). These storage containers or packaging should not resemble those utilized by food companies.

Storing Hazardous Liquid Substances

All hazardous liquid materials should be stored in the appropriate containers as well as a spill containment sump—a storage contraption that can contain the liquid in the event of a spill. The sump should be suitable for the liquid—of a material that will not corrode or be subject to an adverse chemical reaction with the substance. Sumps should also be electrostatically conducive to reduce the likelihood of explosions. 

Storing Flammable Substances

When storing potentially flammable or explosive materials, no ignition source should be present within the vicinity of the substances. Canisters, tanks, or cylinders containing pressurized gas with connected retrieval valves or hoses may require enhanced protective storage measures that allow for the potential need for ventilation. This availability of ventilation, if needed, may reduce the chances of the collection of gases or vapors that may be potentially explosive. 

Improper Storage Locations

Hazardous substances and materials should not be stored in areas where they pose a safety threat to workers or other individuals. Such improper storage locations include hallways, stairways, corridors, breakrooms, restrooms, or office environments. 

Improper Surrounding Goods 

Hazardous materials should not be stored within the vicinity of items either for consumption or the application of health-related treatments. Any hazardous materials should not be stored near or around foodstuffs, first-aid equipment, cosmetics, medications, or any other items that may be consumed or come into contact with people or animals. 

Correct Hazardous Waste Removal 

For all hazardous waste removal, it is strongly advised that a hazardous materials specialist performs the removal and handling of the substances in question. For those companies or homeowners in the Greater Tulsa, OK area in need of demolition or hazard materials removal, the experienced professionals from DT Wreck-It Specialized Demolition Services can help.