Chemical Storage Guidelines


There are a variety of methods to store and segregate chemicals.  Common sense should be used when setting up storage areas so that workflow is not disrupted.  Chemicals should never be stored by simply alphabetizing them   One of the most common methods for storing chemicals is segregating by solids, liquids, and gases.  Then they should be segregated by hazard class, and finally alphabetically.  Please see the Chemical Incompatibility Chart for specific chemical storage incompatibilities. For specific inquiries, the NOAA Chemical Reactivity Worksheet is a great resource.

General Considerations

  • Avoid storing materials on top of cabinets.  Clearance from the ceiling must be 18 inches for sprinklered labs and 24 inches for not sprinklered.
  • Ensure container weight does not exceed the load rating of the shelves.
  • Wall mounted shelving is not recommended for chemical storage.
  • Corrosive liquids shall be stored below eye level.
  • Do not store chemicals in fume hoods
  • Provide adequate storage space for chemicals within your lab.
  • Keep chemicals away from heat or direct sunlight
  • Use secondary containment when possible
  • Use properly rated and labeled refrigerators and freezers (link)
  • Chemical storage cabinets in hallways should be labeled with the Group name and be kept locked at all times.


Compatible Storage Group Classification System

Chemical Compatibility Storage Guide

Chemical Compatibility Storage Guide from Prudent Practices in the Laboratory, 2011 Edition, p. 97.

The Chemical Compatibility Storage Codes document is a great resource for organizing your chemicals via the above groups. 

Special Considerations