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From retail to food, warehouse storage can take a variety of forms these days.

One of the more important, yet occasionally understated roles a warehouse can perform is the storage of liquids. Whether they’re needed chemicals for manufacturing purposes, automotive fluids for retail or distribution to repair shops, or any other type of commercially available fluid, warehouses can often serve as a home to a vast array of liquids that need to be handled correctly.

Much like with the storage of hazardous materials, liquid storage can carry with it a long list of rules, requirements, and regulations from various governmental bodies. Knowing these requirements will go a long way towards helping you maintain safe storage of each of your liquid products, but there’s a few tips that can apply to nearly any liquid or chemical that needs to be stored:

Segregate and store by hazard class

Even liquids that aren’t considered immediately dangerous need to be stored carefully according to federal and manufacturer guidelines, as liquids like motor oil or cooking oil shouldn’t come into contact with one another even if they don’t post as immediate a health risk. Whatever sort of warehouse storage you use, make sure to carefully sort and arrange each liquid by their designated hazard class, and further separate them to avoid cross-contamination.

Keep flammable materials far away

Whether among other flammable materials or on their own, certain combustible chemicals and liquids need to be stored as far away from other materials as is safely possible. In a lot of cases, you can use designated warehouse storage cabinets to store flammable materials away from anything that they can’t come into contact with, such as other chemicals or heat sources.

Never store anything on the floor

No matter how safe your liquid products may be, liquid canisters should be kept as safe from damage as possible, and that means keeping them up off the floor. Even the bottom shelf of your pallet racking is a better option than anywhere where they may restrict traffic and run the risk of getting bumped into.

Provide ventilation

All liquids, from the most benign to the most hazardous, need to be stored in an area where air can flow freely around them and can provide ventilation in the event of a leak or other damage. Avoid using chemical fume hoods as they can reduce the available work space and may block proper air flow from the containers – instead, make sure to give enough space for each container to ‘breathe’ and provide ample ventilation around each area.

Inspect frequently for mess or damage

Finally, even above and beyond the other installations in your warehouse, make sure the area around these liquid goods is as clean as possible. Remove all clutter from the floors, make sure the nearby exists and aisleways are unblocked and easy to access in the event of a spill or any other issue, and make sure you have proper industrial lighting around every relevant area to increase safety and make it more easily visible in the event of a spill.

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