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33. Store Agrichemicals Safely

storage building

Whether you are looking for a new site to store agrichemicals or evaluating an existing site, consider several factors. Locate the storage area as far away as possible and downhill from houses, children's play areas, feedlots, and barns. Also, locate downwind from areas that would be most endangered by chemical exposure.

When selecting a new site for your storage building, be sure to check with local zoning and building codes. Also, keep the storage area as far away as possible and downhill from surface water, sinkholes, and wells. Protect water sources from possible spills with a spill pad, buffer areas, and water-diversion structures. Do not locate in an area that is prone to flooding. And be sure the storage building site is at least 12 inches higher than the surrounding soil.

outside of storage shed Be aware of all electrical lines and connections in the area. In addition, locate away from flammable structures and areas. If possible, make sure fire-fighting equipment can reach the building from all sides. A 12-foot wide road is wide enough for emergency equipment.
storage area To decrease the chances of an agrichemical storage accident, be sure the walls and floor are made of materials that spilled chemicals cannot penetrate and that can be cleaned and decontaminated. Make sure the storage area has a secondary containment system to catch spilled chemicals for reuse or disposal. Putting a curb around the storage building will prevent spills or fire-fighting water from flowing out of the area.
pesticed storage Purchase chemicals for a single season when possible. Store only clean unopened packages, or packages that have been properly resealed to prevent spillage. Regularly inspect stored containers for damage, which could lead to leakage. Store herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides in separate locations of the storage area to prevent cross-contamination. Do not store pesticides near food, feed, fertilizers, seed, veterinary supplies, and other products.
storage diagram Store dry, bagged pesticides on shelves or pallets off the floor to keep them dry. Also, store them above liquid pesticides to prevent contamination from leaks. Store chemicals in glass containers on the bottom shelves. Consider using steel shelves for storage because they are easier to clean in the event of a spill. Also, consider using shelves that have lips along the edges. This helps prevent chemicals from falling off the shelves.
cleanup and communications equipment Have the proper cleanup and communications equipment easily available, and post emergency phone numbers. Also, provide proper ventilation of the storage area to prevent the buildup of toxic or flammable gases and to keep the storage temperature between 40 and 90 degrees F. A current inventory of all compounds could be critical in an emergency, such as a fire.
post signs on the storage building Lock, fence in, and post signs on the storage building to prevent accidental poisoning of children, livestock, and wildlife, and to deter vandalism. If you don't have a secondary containment system to capture water, sprinkler systems can cause more trouble than the fire they extinguish. That's because pesticide-contaminated water would have to be cleaned up. Dry-chemical fire extinguishers or similar systems may be recommended instead. Check with your local fire department. Also, develop a contingency plan with local authorities, such as the fire department.
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