Biotechnology Lab Storage

Chemical Storage

  • Store and handle chemicals properly to protect both users and the quality of the reagents
  • Handle chemicals under a fume hood and wear the appropriate gloves, goggles, or other PPE to avoid injuries
  • Check with local government officials to understand and comply with any regulations or specific policies for chemical storage and disposal
  • Use the ChemAssist app to link your chemical inventory to multiple devices and users

National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Color Coding and Storage Conditions

Chemical CategoryLabel ColorStorage Conditions



Chemical storeroom or cabinet



Fire-resistant cabinet


Yellow and white

Cabinets for bases, acids and peroxides



Locked cabinets

VisitClassroom Chemicals and Solutions to learn more about chemical safety.

Sample Storage

  • Organize and store student samples at appropriate temperatures
  • Assign a specific refrigerator and freezer to each class to quickly locate samples and help prevent mix-ups
  • Consider using multiple lab refrigerators and freezers or shelves to separate groups of samples
  • Store protein samples alphabetically
  • Divide (aliquot) samples into multiple smaller volumes before freezing to minimize repeat freeze/thaw cycles that can compromise sample quality
  • Record the date of reagent receipt and first use
  • Consider the specific temperature requirements of biotech reagents and other materials
  • Discuss needs with your Fisher Science Education sales representative and make delivery arrangements as needed

Sample and Reagent Storage Guidelines*

Product or SampleStorage Conditions

Chemicals, most buffers

Ambient/room temperature


Protein, DNA and cell samples



Glycerol stock, protein (lyophilized), DNA and cell samples



Certain cell lines

Low-temperature freezer


*These guidelines may not apply to all products. Always check product documentation for proper storage conditions.


The above information is the property of Ellyn Daugherty, founder of the San Mateo Biotechnology Career Pathway (SMBCP) and author of Biotechnology: Science for the New Millennium, Second Edition, 2017. For more information, visit