5 Things You Should Never Put in Storage

fire in a storage facility

Photo courtasey of Herald Journal News

Just recently, there was a fire in a storage facility in Hyrum City. Although firefighters did there best to put it out quickly, it still did close to $1.5 million in damage. (source). While the cause of the fire has not been released as yet, it did get me thinking about how some thing shouldn’t be stored in our facilities. I realized that’s something I’ve not talked about. A few things are explicitly forbidden as a part of our terms and conditions, but now’s probably a good time to go over a few good rules.

Things You Should Never Put in Storage

1. Flammables

This is the one that got me thinking about this subject, and it’s one of the items that is expressly forbidden under contract. The reason why is obvious. It can get hot in a storage shed, especially during the summer months. It doesn’t take a spark to start a fire, the temperature just has to be higher than the ignition point. For most things, that’s pretty high; higher than it could conceivably get inside a storage shed.

Flammables are an exception, though. Gasoline, certain chemicals, and other materials all have lower ignition points than most substances and a hot summer might set them alight. Since a lot of the things you’ll have in storage are wood, cardboard, and paper, once a fire starts, it will quickly spread. It should be common sense to keep flammable materials out of storage, but just in case, I reiterate the point: don’t do it.

2. Explosives

explosivesThis is another thing forbidden in our terms of service. It’s also illegal.  Like flammables this one should be obvious. Stable explosives might not go off just on a hot day – though some can, especially if they’ve degraded due to time or contamination – but if there’s a fire, they certainly will. When explosives go off in a storage unit, it makes putting the fire out all the more dangerous and difficult. It spreads the burning materials around and can put firefighter’s lives at risk.
For reference, explosives also includes weapons and ammunition, which are also illegal to store in public facilities.

3. Hazardous Materials

This one is another obvious one, but what’s not so obvious is what is and is not hazardous. Sure, poisons, medical supplies, and radioactive waste – where are you even getting radioactive waste to store in the first place? – are all clearly hazardous materials and you wouldn’t think of storing them in a common storage facility. Even household items like cleaning fluids and fertilizer are hazardous, though. If improperly handled, they can leak out and mix with the groundwater or run-off from rain, which risks the health of people living nearby.
Some hazardous materials can get stored accidentally. There have been a surprising amount of occasions where someone stored asbestos in storage facilities without even knowing it. Despite what people think, asbestos is not actually illegal in the United States. While the EPA has been working on it, most of the bans were overturned in the 90s.  Numerous products containing asbestos in them that are back on the market. For a short list of products that contain asbestos, you can check this website.

4. Food

You’re clearly not thinking of storing raw meat or dairy products in our facilities. That would be stupid and you’re not an idiot. But it’s also a bad idea to store canned goods. The changes in temperature that occur in a storage unit can cause expansion and contraction in metal cans, which may cause them to break open and leak, spoiling the food. Even in climate controlled facilities, canned goods are a bad idea, because they can attract pests. While it’s not strictly illegal, it’s just not a good idea.

5. Living Things

sad dog

“Please don’t leave me in a storage shed.”

While you may think this one is obvious, I’ve heard so many sad stories of people who tried to leave their pets in storage units while they were away for a couple of days. Even if you leave food – which just attracts pests, if you remember the previous point – and water for them, it’s impossible to guess just how much they’ll need. Furthermore, water evaporates.  After the first or second day, most of it will be gone. Where it goes from there is obvious. Furthermore, the temperatures in storage units can sometimes get hotter or colder than your pet could possibly survive in. All in all, it’s just not a nice thing to do to your beloved animal friend.
This goes double for plants. Plants will wither and die quickly in warm temperatures, and will run out of water much faster. Even leaving a potted plant in a storage facility for one to two days will most likely kill it.
Spare yourself a heartbreak and make better arrangements for your pets.

For Your Protection

There are lots of restrictions on what you can and can’t store in a facility, but keep in mind that these regulations are for your safety. All of these things pose health and safety risks if you break the rules, so don’t consider breaking them, even if you think it’s just for a day. One day is all it takes for something to go terribly wrong.
On the other hand, there’s plenty of legal things to store. If you need to make some space in your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’ve got plenty of space and a wide variety of unit sizes to suit your needs.