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The possession and handling of chemicals, especially explosives, can be extremely hazardous to an untrained or ignorant individual. The preparation of any explosive or chemical substance requires a good deal of planning and forethought to be successful.|
To begin with, you should have a dedicated area to set up your lab that has a sizable work area, easy access to chemicals and apparatus, seclusion from prying eyes, a minimum of flammable materials, and good ventilation. A garage or basement is better than a kitchen to keep contamination to a minimum, a shed or other separate building is ideal should a disaster occur.
It is advisable to never work alone in the lab if you can. Also get some basic protective equipment such as gloves, aprons, goggles, and a respirator. It is best to have these things and wear them all the time because they can prevent a potentially harmful incident. Get some kind of fire extinguisher, big or little, its always best to get the kind that made for chemicals. A resourceful person may find that of all things fire extinguishers are found in public buildings just sitting on the walls waiting to be put to good use. Keep a garden hose at the ready as well as a bucket of water for emergency dilatation's or to douse yourself if (when) you catch fire, an extinguisher can be harmful to a person if sprayed onto them.
Now chemical waste. I would suggest dumping chemical waste as far away from your property as possible. Dump it down a sewer, dump it on somebody's lawn, or just dump it near some industry and call the environmentalists to harass that company for spewing toxins, chances are that the environmentalists will already be there dumping toxins so they have something to complain about. Pay for professional disposal if you wish, but I believe environmental destruction is overrated. Dump it down the drain.
Adapted from Safety In Academic Chemistry Laboratories, prepared by the American Chemical Society Committee on Chemical Safety, 1990.
General: Never work in the laboratory alone. Perform no unauthorized experiments (A note if I may, its a good thing its your lab...) Do not use mouth suction to fill pipettes. Confine long hair and loose clothes while working in the laboratory. Wear shoes. Learn the location of and correct use of the nearest fire extinguisher. Learn the location of the safety shower and first aid kit and be prepared to give help to others (keep some means of running water ready and get some kind of first aid kit because minor accidents do happen, but they are usually more of a nusance than actually life threatning).
Safety Glasses: Safety glasses should be worn at all times while in the laboratory, whether you actively engage in experimental work or not. Contact lenses should never be worn in the laboratory because they cannot be removed rapidly enough if reagents accidentally splash in the eye (I have seen it happen, chemical vapors tend to dissolve in the tears behind the lens and will not be flushed away, or a splash will trap chemicals behind and insure that it stays in direct contact with the cornea, ouch).
Fire: Avoid unnecessary flames. Check the area near you for volatile solvents before lighting a burner. Check the area near you for flames if you are about to begin working with a volatile solvent. Be particularly careful of the volatile solvents diethyl ether, petroleum ether (ligroine), benzene, methanol, ethanol, and acetone.
Chemicals: Handle every chemical with care. Avoid contact with the skin and clothing. Wipe up spills immediately, especially near the balances and regent shelf. Replace caps on bottles as soon as possible. Do not use an organic solvent to wash a chemical from the skin as this may actually increase the rate of absorption of the chemical through the skin. Avoid inhalation of organic vapors, particularly aromatic solvents and chlorinated solvents. Use care in smelling chemicals and do not taste them unless instructed to do so. Drinking, eating, or smoking in the laboratory is forbidden.
Disposal of Chemicals: Dispose of chemicals as directed in each experiment. In general, small quantities of water-soluble substances can be flushed down the drain with a large quantity of water. Water-insoluble solids and liquids should be placed in the waste container provided. Chromium ion in the +6 oxidation state (orange) should be reduced to the +3 state (green) with a mild reducing agent such as bisulfate before disposal.
Caution: It has been determined that several chemicals that are widely used in the organic laboratory (e.g., benzene and chloroform) cause cancer in test animals when administered in large doses (the good stuff always does this damnit). Where possible the use of these chemicals is avoided. In the few cases where suspected carcinogens are used, the precautions noted should be followed carefully. A case in point is chromium in the +6 oxidation state. The dust of solid Cr+6 salts is carcinogenic. The hazards have been pointed out and safe handling procedures are given.
Beware, this safety section is by no means completed yet. This is only a little of what I want to put here!
Try this link for more safety information.