We all know that storage units are a great way to free up space in your home or provide temporary storage for your belongings when you’re relocating, but they are not suitable for storing absolutely everything.
Certain items are actually illegal to place in a storage unit and could be deadly. If in doubt always ask the storage unit manager for a list of permissible items. This way, you’re not taking any unnecessary risks.
Here are some tips to help you make smart choices:
Combustible and Corrosive Materials
You should never store anything in your unit which could potentially catch fire. Typical examples are cans of paint, propane cylinders, oil, and gasoline. Yes, some people do keep cans of gasoline and oil in their storage units.
The problem? Although these are normally inert (non-reactive), if they are exposed to heat for prolonged periods of time they will emit gases. All it takes is a spark to start a major fire.
If you’re storing vehicles of any kind in your unit, please ensure that the tanks have been drained of gas. Fertilizer is another substance that, if not properly stored, can cause an explosion.
Please also avoid placing anything made of asbestos in your unit for health reasons. Car batteries or anything else containing acid will degrade over time, eventually leaking onto other items in your unit and nearby areas.
Food & Alcohol
We have no issue with using your rented space to store dried, preserved or tinned foods, but avoid using it as storage for any types of food that can perish over time. Dairy products, fresh fruit, fresh flowers and vegetables will decompose quickly. Any rotten food will attract rodents and insects, causing a number of potential health issues.
Storing alcohol in a room that isn’t temperature controlled (the vast majority of storage units aren’t) is also a bad idea, even if it’s just cheap bottles of wine and beer you’re saving for a party or a big game.
Why? If your alcohol is constantly warmed and cooled for months, it will eventually spoil. At best you’ve wasted whatever money you spent on it. At worst, you could wind up with alcohol poisoning.
There’s a reason why people keep their wine and beer in a cellar or refrigerator. Storing alcohol properly should be important.
Explosives and Firearms
Fireworks are explosive and should not be stored in storage. Even if the fireworks have been manufactured to a very high standard, it only takes a single spark to cause a lot of damage to your property and the property of others nearby.
Poorly manufactured fireworks can degrade quite quickly, sometimes only requiring unusually high temperatures to ignite them.
It’s illegal to store any live or replica weapons in a storage unit. This includes vintage or antique weapons, including ones that haven’t been properly decommissioned. Residual powder in the barrel or firing mechanism could ignite without warning.
You are looking at a serious fire hazard with the potential of all your belongings could be blown to pieces. To avoid fire hazards and potential harm, learn how to properly store firearms.
We’ve experienced customers attempting all of the above during our years as movers operating in Auburn AL. Nothing surprises us anymore.