For a number of families, the mere mention of having to clean can result in a collective set of groans. Unfortunately, in order to keep your family safe from exposure to the wrong germs, you can’t skip the dirty work. Even if your family isn’t too keen on keeping the house clean, the way in which these seldomly used products are stored is extremely important for the safety of your family. Rather than looking at household chemical storage as a ‘one size fits all’ solution, it should be approached through a patchwork strategy, with the most important aspect being creating an environment that’s safest and most convenient for your family.
Here are some of the most important considerations in household chemical storage:
1. A healthy balance between accessibility and precaution.
It can be hard for families to determine exactly which products deserve the most security attention. While it may make sense to store products in such a way that the younger members of the family are unable to reach them, it shouldn’t have to create any additional hassle when the time comes to retrieve them. With that being said, you shouldn’t just default to keeping every product in the same place in the name of convenience. One of the best ways to figure out what belongs where is based on a priority-use chart. Determine which products are most commonly used by your family and which are the most dangerous and separate them accordingly.
2. Labeled for a reason.
Each product containing any sort of chemical will have a detailed label including safety information. Ignore the marketing material on each product and get right to the important facts through the label. Certain products are much more hazardous than others, but differentiating between the two is made easy through the label. For some families, particularly with younger children, hand-made labels may suit them better. With an established code in the family, some symbols could indicate to younger children that they should avoid the product if they happen across it, while others could indicate that they’re safe to use.
3. Declutter to avoid any exposure.
For many families, it’s common to purchase an abundance of cleaning supplies in a single trip rather than purchasing as necessary. While convenient, it can contribute to a stockpile of products that can create dangerous situations for you and your family. Rather than consistently going through the trouble of decluttering, consider purchasing only what you need in the moment. Reducing what you have in the home makes it even more simple to create designated zones in the home to house these products. Most commonly, these products are stored below bathroom sinks or within storage closets nearest the bathroom as this is typically the most convenient. Organization is also key in these zones, as the most dangerous products should never be the ones that have priority convenience.
While these three tips serve as a stable framework for reducing the amount of chemical-related injury risk for your family, there are certainly more safety considerations to be made. Customize your chemical storage safety systems in such a way that is most optimal for your family. Remember to first review the label prior to any handling of the products and always supervise children using the more dangerous products.
Content help by: Lynn Place, Vice President of Marketing for SolvChem Custom Packaging Division. She has 30 years of professional experience in the manufacturing industry and specializes in consumer packaged goods, new product development and strategic planning.