You might not think about storing cleaning supplies or other chemicals in your safe, but it may make sense in some cases, for some users. Particularly families with small children or businesses that use caustic chemicals might consider keeping these supplies or items securely locked in a safe. There are some potential issues with this, depending on the chemicals in question and the other items you wish to keep in your safe or vault room, which we’ll discuss further below.
In this article:
- Storing cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, dish soap, and other similar items in your safe
- Dos and don’ts for storing chemicals in safes or vault rooms
- Considerations regarding chemical vapors or off-gassing
But for businesses in particular, keeping a dedicated safe or safe room with industrial chemicals may be the right choice, and for families, keeping cleaning supplies in the only truly secure location in your home might be something to consider.
Storing cleaning and sanitization supplies in your safe
Those of us who have lived through the crazy pandemic shortages on anything from meat to pickles to dish soap will see the wisdom in keeping an emergency supply of Dawn, dishwasher pellets, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, or similar items in a safe. They don’t take up much space, store practically forever, and can be a godsend when the stores have been picked clean.
Of course, you want to be careful to ensure such items are factory sealed and free from leaks or damage to the packaging before you store them, and check the contents of your safe regularly to make sure all items are intact and not interacting in a negative way with the other contents of your safe.
Chemical storage and some potential issues with storing them in a safe
Depending on the chemicals you intend to store, and the packaging they are contained in, it might not be a good idea to keep them in your safe, particularly if there are other valuable items stored there.
The reasons for this are twofold: first, many chemicals can give off gases or fumes after the containers have been opened, and these fumes can interact with metals or other materials stored in your safe and cause damage; and secondly, they can also react in potentially harmful ways with any fumes from other chemicals, creating corrosive or dangerous reactions.
Even relatively innocuous chemicals like gun oils and solvents, blackpowder lubes, etc. can give off fumes that react with metals or other items and can cause damage. So be sure to check the labels, and regularly inspect the contents of your safe or vault if you store chemicals or solvents inside.
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper chemical storage
It should go without saying that potentially harmful chemicals need to be treated with care and stored properly according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and your local laws. If you run a business or have the need for using caustic or reactive chemicals in your domicile, it is a good idea to keep them locked up and free from unauthorized use or misuse.
A vault room can be an appropriate choice in some cases, and if constructed properly, can provide the necessary space, stable temperature and humidity, and adequate ventilation required for proper storage of some chemicals.
Storing anything valuable in the same vicinity as caustic chemicals is not a good idea, so if you decide you need to lock your cleaning supplies or chemicals in your safe, be sure to follow the chemical manufacturer’s recommendations for correct storage conditions, and be sure that any vapors or fumes from one chemical will play nice with the fumes from another chemical stored in the same location.
In any case, a dedicated safe for chemical storage is better than one that contains multiple types of items, and a safe door/vault room is much preferred if you have a lot of chemicals to keep locked up. Have a look at Liberty’s vault doors here.