Sammamish Summer of Safety: Safe Storage and Disposal of Hazardous Materials

Release Date: August 02, 2019
Garages often contain a variety of hazardous materials, including paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides. During an earthquake, these hazardous materials can spill and possible mix into more dangerous substances. One way to ensure your garage is not a potential hazard zone is to follow these basic steps.
Before a Disaster
  • Secure all chemical and hazardous materials so they cannot fall, break, and mix.
  • Remove all poisons, toxins, and solvents in breakable containers from open shelves
  • Remove all heavy objects from upper shelves, especially around vehicles
  • Secure open shelving with nylon webbing or bungee style webbing
  • Store all paints, fuels, and other flammable liquids away from ignition sources, such as gas water heaters or furnaces
  • Separate chemicals according to manufacturer’s recommendations to prevent harmful interactions if broken containers allow for unintentional mixing
  •  Know what steps to take if chemicals are spilled
  • Most importantly, properly dispose of any hazardous materials that are no longer used.
    • Fortunately, King County's Traveling Wastemobile will be at Eastlake High School on Friday, August 9, and will stay through Sunday, August 11.
    • Hours will be from 10 a.m. to 5 pm. each day. 
    • Learn about what you can bring, safe handling of hazarous materials, and more at their website: https://hazwastehelp.org/HHW/wastemobile.aspx
After a Disaster
  • Always assume that spilled chemicals are hazardous
  • Do not immediately approach spilled chemicals in your haste to clean them up. Mixed chemicals may be extremely hazardous
  • Close off location where chemicals have spilled and mark to prevent limit exposure. For example, a sign which reads “ Caution – Spilled chemicals inside”
  • Call 911 and report the chemical spill to professional responders.