Where to Store Toxic Chemicals in Your House

Potential poisons are everywhere in the modern home – from household cleaners in the kitchen to gas cans in the garage to mouthwash in the bathroom. Here’s how to keep them from harming your family.


Locks on the doors. Batteries in the smoke alarms. Sharp objects out of reach.

You do these things to keep you and your family safe in your home, but are you overlooking one of the most common causes of accidental death?

Poisonous substances are a part of our everyday life and you may believe you’ve taken proper care to keep them out of reach, but it’s worth double-checking.

The kitchen is probably the most likely place for accidental poisoning. Keeping a trashcan with a lid is a good idea because it helps contain anything poisonous that is discarded from small hands. But don’t think it’s just the kids who are risk. Storing them out of reach is the first line of defense, but also be careful when you use them that they don’t get too close to the food. Ingesting the chemical instead of the chicken is bad news.

Many of us store fertilizers, paints, and other high-powered chemicals in the garage. High shelves and tightly sealed containers will keep the harmful poisons secure.

In addition to preventing accidents with the obvious chemicals, don’t forget to scour your home for the not-so-obvious poisons too. Many of those live in the bathroom.

Many of us grew up under the threat of having our mouths washed out with soap if we talked back to our parents. These days, that would be a serious mistake. Soaps like these, as well as shampoos and conditioners are colorful and scented which can attract kids. Keep these things on a high shelf out of reach of curious kids, who might want to taste the strawberry instead of wash with it!

Speaking of tasting, mouthwash sends a really tough message to kids. They see mom and dad rinsing with it and they might want to take a big swig. Bad idea. Keep mouthwash and toothpaste out of reach and teach kids their proper uses.

And remember, kids aren’t the only ones at risk for poisoning in the bathroom. Keeping the tiles sparkling means a constant risk of breathing harmful fumes from cleaning products. Keep gloves and a mask in the bathroom for use while disinfecting.

It may seem obvious, but accidental medication overdoses are a huge cause of poisoning. Child-safe caps for homes with kids are a must but even if you don’t have kids, make sure the labels are easy to read and you understand the dosage.

It’s always important to remember that the best defense is a good offense. Read the labels of the products you use and understand their potential risk. Keep the poison control number where it’s easy to find, and if you do end up calling keep the container nearby so you so you can tell the operator what you ingested.

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