Unsafe Storage Practices
It’s important to understand your storage facility policies, and what’s safe, and not safe to store. While tenants at most storage facilities are well aware of the dangers and potential pitfalls of unsafe storage practices or habits, it’s ideal to stay current on the latest information that pertains directly to the storage industry as a whole. Varying policies and standards per storage facility notwithstanding, there are a multitude of aspects that are often overlooked, and sometimes ignored, that can pose serious trouble for tenants, both fiscally and physically.
The first and most obvious reason for following the storing guidelines & protocols of a given storage facility is the inherent safety concerns and/or risks that naturally result from unsafe storage practices. Ranging from storing unsafe belongings and items in the storage unit, to haphazardly stacking & storing possessions, the hazards can be as endless as they are inevitable.
The agreement, or contract, established between the storage facility and the customer is much more than a simple arbitration to mandate payment methods and fees; it’s specifically designed to protect all parties involved. If compliance with the contract is waived or otherwise breached, the offending party is usually held accountable for any damages, both punitively and civilly.
Damage Control 101
Depending on the circumstances that result from improper storing, the potential for property damage is a very real possibility. Whether the damage incurred is directed at the unit and its contents or if it extends further and damages surrounding units and the actual storage facility itself is cause for concern as well.
Another aspect to consider when storing your possessions at your local storage facility is the writs and clauses that are commonly associated with a tenant-based contract/agreement. While these typically are not a cause for alarm if you adhere to the guidelines and preferences of the particular storage facility, it is something that can prove detrimental if misunderstood, selectively followed, or ignored altogether.
Loss of Possessions
One of the more immediate repercussions that are all too commonplace when improperly storing one’s possessions against storage facility guidelines is the loss of said items that are being stored. Whether they become damaged, contaminated, corroded or otherwise compromised, the loss of one’s belongings is an experience that no leaseholder and/or storage facility wants to see happen; especially if it is easily avoided.
Any legal ramifications, whether criminally or civilly, are always best avoided when it comes to renting a storage unit and storing your belongings; especially when it’s largely avoidable if you simply follow the policies and procedures that are clearly illustrated in the leasing application that was established and agreed upon. Some of the legal issues can range from exhaustive reparations with expensive restitutions to the very real potential of jail time and/or criminal convictions.
What NOT to Store
When considering what not to store in storage units, you have to think about hazardous materials and items that just aren’t safe to have in a public place.
These are some limitations and unacceptable items for storage units:
Dangerous Chemicals or Toxic Materials
Depending on where your storage facility is, you may be dealing with extreme weather conditions, such as high and low temperatures; combining this with an enclosed storage unit space makes in NOT ideal for storing combustible, flammable, hazardous or toxic items. These may include gasoline, compressed gas, kerosene, lamp and motor oil, grease, acid, corrosives, fertilizer, paint, cleaners, chemicals, narcotics cleaners, propane tanks, biological waste, toxic waste, asbestos or products containing asbestos.
Weapons of Any Kind
Tires and Vehicles
While some facilities allow stored vehicles in a drive up storage unit, they are usually required to be registered, insured and operational. Most storage companies also do not allow you to store more than four tires in a self storage unit because it’s costly to dispose of them if left in a unit.
Medical Supplies and Equipment
For Medical sales representatives a self storage unit can be an ideal place to store literature, equipment and samples, however, radioactive equipment, hazardous chemicals and other agents may not be accepted at storage facilities.
Most food items cannot be stored in storage facilities whether they are climate controlled or not. Canned foods are typically allowed in climate controlled storage units, but perishable food is not allowed, for obvious reasons, and to avoid attracting all types of pests.
Like food, you shouldn’t store animal food as it will perish and possibly attract pests to your storage unit. This includes bagged pet food, treats, raw hide and other items that can easily spoil in extreme weather conditions.
Peace of Mind
Now that you have an idea of what typical self storage facility policies are and what typically should not be stored in a storage unit, you will have peace of mind about sorting and storing your household and/or business items. Most customers are very in tune with their possessions and value them tremendously; otherwise, why pay to safely store them at all? To help find the prefect unit size for storing your items, we’ve provided a storage calculator.
*If you’re storing your possessions at a facility that implements lax or loose policies to ensure safe storage for everyone, the risk of damage or loss of your belongings could be greater.