Many chemicals such as bleach and paint strippers are used in maintenance around the home. For safe storage:

  • keep chemicals in a dry, locked cupboard
  • label all containers to identify their contents
  • do not store chemicals in containers that have been used for food storage
  • do not store large quantities of flammable liquids such as petrol and solvents inside the house or in an attached garage
  • wear gloves and eye protection when working with corrosive chemicals
  • when using solvents or other chemicals that give off fumes, make sure the work area is sufficiently ventilated.

For hazardous liquids, obtain safety data sheets from the producer or supplier. These data sheets give specific information about the care required in storing, using and disposing of a material. Also check disposal requirements of hazardous materials with your city or district council – many landfills or rubbish transfer stations have a separate drop-off area for them.

In the case of accidental chemical poisoning where the person is awake, call the New Zealand National Poisons Centre 24 hours, 7 days on 0800 POISON (0800 764 766). Get the person to a doctor as soon as possible.

Do not try to make the person vomit and do not give fluids unless instructed by the Poisons Centre or a doctor.

Where the person is unconscious phone 111 for and ambulance. If they are not breathing or do not have a pulse, begin CPR.

There is more information specifically about solvents here.