You may not realise how dangerous some of your household chemicals can be for you and your family, it can also be dangerous for the environment if it is incorrectly disposed of. A lot of the work with chemicals is to find out as much about it as you can before you purchase the chemical, you should do this by finding out information from the manufacturer or the retailer. A lot of the time there may be more than one suitable chemical for a task, you should always pick the safer of the two chemicals. All of the information about the safety of the chemical can be found on the label and you should always read the label and ask for help if you do not understand everything on it.
When using chemicals you must know everything that can go wrong before you begin, if you understand all of the safety precautions you need to take you will have a much safer time. This information can once again be found on the label. When using the chemical use the appropriate safety gloves, avoid breathing in any vapours also.
How to handle chemicals safely
- eat, drink or smoke while using chemicals
- mix chemicals or products unless specified on the label
- add water to a chemical – when mixing strong acids or alkalis (for example solid caustic soda) always add the chemical to cold water
- use hot water as there is a risk of explosion
- become complacent using chemicals – take care even when there are no warnings or safety directions on the label.
- wash your hands with soap and water after using chemicals
- read the instructions every time before using a product, even if you have used it before (do not rely on your memory). This can save valuable time if first aid is required
- be responsible about using chemicals, especially if children are nearby.
If you find the label has been damaged, destroyed, removed or cannot be read, then you should dispose of the product appropriately.
Upon storing the chemicals you should always keep them in their original containers and make sure their lids are on to prevent any spillage. Each chemical container you store should be easily identifiable and stored tidily and it should always be kept away from children in a secured location.
Some chemicals will require special storage this can include acids, flammable liquids, medicines and pesticides and pool chemicals. You should always read the labels on all chemicals and learn about any different storing advice that may need to be adhered to. Make sure you inspect the storage area regularly to make sure nothing has become damaged and that nothing is leaking.
When you store your chemicals, always keep them in their original containers, making sure the lids are tightly sealed to prevent spills.
Keeping your children safe is the most important thing if you follow all these steps and are always on the lookout for ways you can improve your home chemical storage situation you will go a long way to keeping them safe!