Virginia Fire Chiefs Association

Home Hazardous Materials


It is important for people to know the steps they can take to keep themselves and their families safe from accidents related to home hazardous materials.

Put these safety messages into your own words when talking to people about flammables, household chemicals and batteries on social media.


  • Used and “dead” batteries can remain a fire hazard. Place tape over battery terminals before disposal or recycling.
  • Replace batteries if they get wet or damaged.
  • Keep lithium batteries in a cool dry place.
  • Only use lithium batteries designed for the device you want to charge.
  • Don’t overcharge lithium batteries.
  • Don’t put lithium batteries in household trash.

Flammable substances

  • Only fill portable gasoline containers outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Make sure to place the container on the ground when you fill it.
  • Seal and store oil, gasoline, paints, propane and varnishes in a shed away from your home.
  • Keep flammable items on shelves away from appliances.
  • Keep oily rags in a well-ventilated area and away from heat sources.
  • If you have a spill, clean the area and put the containers in a well-ventilated area. If you cannot control the spill, or are unsure about cleanup and disposal, call your local fire department.

Household Chemicals Use

  • Follow the instructions on the label when you use household chemicals.
  • Don’t mix products. This can cause deadly gases or cause a fire.
  • Wear gloves or goggles when you use household chemicals.


  • Follow the instructions on the label when you store household chemicals.
  • Store household chemicals in their original containers.
  • Never store household chemicals that can cause a fire in the sun or near an open flame or heat source.
  • Store household chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Use safety locks and guardrails on shelves and cabinets when you store household chemicals. This will prevent them from falling or tipping.


  • Follow the instructions on the label when you need to throw home hazardous materials out.
  • Aerosol cans might contain chemicals that can burn. If you put them in the trash, they can explode or start a fire.

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