Storage units are more popular today than ever before. If the storage facility is local and affordable, it’s the perfect place to temporarily house extra items or use as a transition facility when moving an entire household. You’ll first need to purge unnecessary items and collect everything that is worth secure storage. There will undoubtedly be some items, be it appliances, furnishings or materials that you should not pack in a storage unit.
Caustic and Combustible Substances and Permissions
Under no circumstances should you consider storing flammable or caustic substances in a storage unit. This includes gasoline, oil, paint and other flammable materials. This goes for caustic substances like acids and thinners. Storage units that are not climate controlled can easily overheat and cause potentially explosive conditions. This would also include any pressurized canisters or tanks, like those used with oxygen/acetylene systems. Refrain from storing any acids—laden car batteries that contain gel or liquid acid. However, some obvious building materials and substances may be allowed in storage with regulatory restrictions. In that case, you would ask the unit facility manager for a list of what is safely allowed for storage and what is prohibited.
In almost all cases, it is against the law to store weapons: rifles, pistols, flare guns, antique firearms and powder and ammunition in a storage facility. Collectible antique artillery shells and cannons may contain residual gun powder that could com-bust via a spark and cause an explosion or fire.
Perishable Food Items and Animal Feed
Perishable food items such as flour, meats, cereals, vegetables, fruits, cheeses and milk products will spoil when left in extended storage. This will attract flies, ants, rodents and other foraging pests in addition to leaving nasty stains and foul odors. Think twice about storing home preserves of any type, including wines and champagne because they cannot be subjected to extreme temperature variations. Organic pet litter and pet food should be left off the list.
No pets or animals of any descriptions should be stored in an enclosed unit for any length of time. Heat stroke and lack of oxygen are potential killers to any animal. Besides, doing so could have you prosecuted for cruelty to animals or gross negligence.
Vehicles and Fuel-Powered Tools
If the facility permits the storage of vehicles, like cars, lawn tractors, push mowers, ATVs, boats, mini bikes, motorcycles, gasoline-powered generators and other powered garden tools, the fuel tanks should be emptied of all gas, ethanol or propane. This goes for remotely controlled toys that operate on combustible fuel. The reason is obvious—gas can expand in a confined tank due to excessive heat and pressure and cause an explosion.
Don’t fudge the law or disregard the guidelines; it can cost damage to your possessions and the facility structure and possibly garner a lawsuit against you. Play it safe and honest. Show courtesy by always cleaning the storage bin after use and thank the management. You may become a valued repeat customer.
Savannah Coulsen is a freelance writer. She lives in Raleigh. Savannah loves to read and write and she hopes to write a novel someday. Savannah also loves learning and is a self-proclaimed health guru. Savannah got information for this article from CAR-GO, a company that specializes in storage units in Dayton.