It’s easy to forget that schools contain a decent amount of chemicals and pesticides tucked away for science lessons and science fairs, but until the goggles and beakers come out, these chemicals must be stored safely and securely to protect pupils, staff, and visitors, as well as preventing any lab disasters. So, to protect our little Einsteins, here are some tips for school caretakers to store chemicals and pesticides safely.

How Do I Store Chemicals at School?

  1. A Specific Storage Area
    All pesticides and chemicals need to be placed in one specific spot. Not only does this help you keep track of where everything is, but it also reduces the possibility of something conveniently falling into the wrong hands of a student. Your storage area should be well-ventilated, kept away from direct sunlight, and inaccessible to students or visitors. You definitely don’t want some sulphuric acid cooking in the sun by the art room.

  2. Secure Space
    Your chemicals should be locked away in a spot few would know, but they also need to be secure. Since schools are not like high-tech labs, some sturdy and rust-free lockers or shelves should do the trick. Just like your herbs and spices at home, your chemicals should also have the proper label, as nothing would ruin the science fair more than an accidental explosive chemical.

  3. Chemical Compatibility
    This step is for all the science teachers out there because your incompatible chemicals should be kept separate from each other to prevent any risky reactions. For this one, it’s better to brush up on your periodic table and chemical safety data sheets.

  4. Proper Storage Containers
    All chemicals come in original secure containers that are meant to keep the chemicals stable and safe. If you do have to take out the chemicals or pesticides and place them in different containers, then it’s best to go for something made out of glass or high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Once again, just like your paprika and garlic powder, label your containers!

  5. Ventilation
    Keeping volatile chemicals in rooms without ventilation can lead to disasters ranging from fumes to fires, so make sure you have a window, vent, or air conditioner.

  6. Emergency Equipment
    Even if you’re 100% secure, emergencies can still happen and you need to be ready with equipment like spill kits, fire extinguishers, and eyewash stations. This equipment should be easily accessible in the storage area of your choosing like the science lab.

  7. Training
    Getting a fire extinguisher and spill kits is easy, but your staff needs to know how to use them first. Members who would be using these chemicals like science teachers and lab assistants need full and proper training on storage procedures, emergency response arrangements, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

  8. Inventory Control
    It would be a headscratcher if a beaker of phosphorus or two suddenly goes missing, so you need to keep an accurate record of inventory for all chemicals, just like a shopkeeper keeps their books. Inventory doesn’t just include the proper count, it also includes checking expiry dates and disposing of older chemicals that need to be replaced.

  9. Labelling
    We’ve mentioned the importance of labelling twice already, but it is that important. Adding the names isn’t just enough, too, because it’s preferred that you add the correct concentration levels, hazard warnings, and any necessary precautionary measures or information.

  10. Regular Inspections
    Inspections happen all the time at schools, and your lab or chemicals storage area should be no different. Do the rounds now and then for signs of leaks, spills, or damage to containers.

  11. Emergency Response Plan
    Now that you have everything ready and secure, you still need a plan B if things go wrong, and this is where your emergency response plan comes in. Suppose there’s a chemical spill, fire, or accident, then members of staff need to be trained and ready for any scenario with the correct procedures and safety measures.


Should you follow all the above guidelines, you’re on your way to having a safe and secure school where students can have fun and enjoy learning about science and chemistry free of any accidents, danger zones, or hazards. Simple precautions like these can protect or even save pupils, staff, parents, and visitors. With things evolving daily, it’s also paramount to stay up to date with regulations and best practices.