Phosphorus should be kept in a place where no damage can result in case the water, in which it is packed, should leak out, and the air obtain free access to it. This is the general rule; its practical application may vary with the circumstances. The governments on the continent of Europe. usually prescribe that it must be kept in the cellar, in a locked closet. It is often kept in strong vials, filled with water, which are stoppered with a good cork; and the vial is placed inside of a tin box provided with a well-fitting lid. Phosphorus is usually put up and sold in tightly-soldered tin cans filled with water. These cans often begin to rust on the outside, and it will "happen, occasionally, that the rusting process will penetrate through the tin, causing the water to leak out, and producing a more or less slow, bastion of the phosphorus. This has sometimes happened when no person was present in the warehouse or storeroom, and has been the cause of several fires. The accident may be prevented by carefully painting the tin cans, as soon as received, with several layers of white paint, so as not to leave the least portion of tin exposed.
Should a large stock have to be carried, it is advisable to paint the cans freshly.