Hazardous chemicals can create physical and health hazards, which means following proper storage procedures is paramount for safely using these materials. Prevent fires, explosions, spills, and other disasters by complying with storage regulations. Learn more about hazardous chemical storage best practices for outdoor storage lockers.
Choose the Right Storage Containers
Storage containers must be compatible with the chemicals they will hold. Common container materials include plastic, metal, and composite.
Highly corrosive chemicals may cause a reaction with metal drums, which could lead to the metal failing and releasing the substance. You can generally store corrosive chemicals and oxidizers in plastic or plastic-lined drums. You can typically store non-corrosive, oil-based, and flammable liquids in steel drums.
Tip: Check the Safety Data Sheets
Check each chemical’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for incompatibility information to ensure the container won’t react to the contents. You can also verify compatibility with the chemical supplier.
Comply With Federal, State, and Local Regulations
Store, manage, and dispose of hazardous chemicals following applicable federal, state, and local regulations. Dangerous materials stored outdoors are also often subject to the EPA’s stormwater regulations.
Other common regulations include general safety requirements for flammables and combustibles from The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Fire Protection Association Code 30 (NFPA 30).
Use Secondary Containment
Some environmental compliance plans require secondary containment systems. Secondary containment systems include spill berms, dikes, sumps, flexible pools, and basins that contain spills and leaks.
Containment systems must be able to hold at least 10 percent of the volume of the containers. You must prevent run-on into the containment system unless the system has sufficient excess capacity to contain run-on in addition to the 10 percent of the volume of the containers.
Maintain Containers and Secondary Containment Systems
Containers of all sizes and secondary containment systems require routine maintenance. Maintaining containers ensures that rainwater, dirt, and pests do not contaminate stored chemicals.
Ensure steel tanks are free of rust. Plastic tanks should not be brittle, flaky, or misshapen. Repair or replace worn or dysfunctional seals, gaskets, valves, and openings.
Keep lids, openings, and valves closed unless adding or removing material. Keeping them closed prevents evaporation and minimizes the chances of contamination.
Use Hazmat Storage Lockers
Using hazmat lockers to store 55-gallon drums allows you to follow hazardous chemical storage best practices. Storage lockers make it easier to comply with the following general storage considerations:
- Protection from rain, flooding, and vandalism
- Proper ventilation
- An appropriate storage foundation
- Secondary containment
- Ample aisle space for easy inspections and handling
Hazmat storage lockers may include racks, shelving, fire suppression systems, and ventilation for safe storage. These features help prevent uncontrolled chemical reactions and spills, protecting workers and the environment.
Tip: Get the Right Fire-Rated Locker
Fire-rated storage lockers protect combustible and flammable inventory. Fire-rated protection is required depending on the chemicals stored and the distance between the chemical storage building and the main building or property line.
Optimize safety with a hazardous chemical storage building from American Hazmat Rentals. We offer weathertight, high-quality containers that enhance your facility’s security and regulatory compliance. Rent a storage unit that meets your unique needs today.