There are many reasons why an individual or business would need a self-storage unit but you should remember that there are limitations and restrictions on certain items you can store in a storage unit. The reason for the limitations is usually for legal and safety reasons. Clearly a storage facility will not knowingly allow illegal item to be stored on their premises. Neither will they allow items or products that a dangerous such as any flammable goods, corrosive products or hazardous chemicals.
Self-storage units are a cost effective choice when you need additional storage for items from your home or small business. They can be used by families to store seasonal goods such as garden furniture, barbecues or winter sports equipment. Small businesses can also use them as overflow warehouse space for excess stock or seasonal goods. Another common use is when you are moving house and relocating to another area and need temporary storage for your personal possessions. This used to be the most common reason for using self storage but, increasingly, individuals and businesses are using self storage units as semi-permanent extensions of their home or business space.
So just what are the restrictions on what exactly you can store in a typical self storage unit and are the rules the same nationwide and worldwide?
All facilities will have restricted items that they will not store – flammable goods, corrosive products or hazardous chemicals are the most obvious and these rules apply at all facilities in all regions and countries because of the risk such products pose to the safety of all goods being stored and the safety of personnel working at the site.
The restrictions are in place to protect your belongings and those of the other people and your insurance policy would likely be invalidated if damage was caused due to restricted items.
You will usually have to sign a contract agreeing to abide by the restrictions so make an inventory of all the items you plan to store and check them against the restrictions as some items may not be obvious – for example household paints are often flammable and cannot be stored.
It should go without saying that any illegal items (drugs or weapons for example) or any perishable food stuffs cannot be placed in a storage facility.
Always check the actual restrictions at your chosen self-storage facility but here is a guide of the most commonly restricted items:
Combustible, Flammable or Hazardous Items
- Fertiliser and other garden chemicals
- Petrol (gasoline) and motor oil
- LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), Propane or Butane (eg, Calor gas for BBQs and propane/butane canisters for weed killer wands)
Any perishable food will not be allowed even if it has a long life as it can attract pests which can do damage within other units at the site.
Weapons, ammunition or explosives (legal or otherwise) and any radioactive equipment (eg medical equipment) can never be placed in a self storage unit.
If in doubt about what can be stored always check first with the storage facility.