Dangerous Goods In Storage Containers

Storing dangerous goods in storage containers?

The storage container is a clever invention that can be used as a space saver, work shed, restaurant, and even as a tiny home. Perhaps the most notable use of the trusty container however, is simply for storage of precious items during times of travel and change in our lives. ANL containers are all lockable, sealed, water and windproof, so they offer an opportunity for the protection of myriad things. In a previous article, we discussed tips for safely storing precious furniture and household items that are at risk of mould damage. Today, the safety is all about you as we discuss the little known topic on the storage and shipping of dangerous goods in storage containers.

Storage Containers Dangerous Goods

So, how do you know if you’re storing dangerous goods?


Here in Australia, dangerous goods are considered any substances that pose a risk of causing immediate harm to people, property, and the surrounding environment. That includes anything flammable, explosive, corrosive, toxic, spontaneously combustible, oxidising, or water reactive. Common examples are LPG, petrol, paints, pesticides, and acids. The most likely occurring incidents from these substances are fires and explosions, and they can cause serious damage and injury. Hazardous Substances are those that may cause acute toxicity orally, dermally, or via inhalation. They may cause skin corrosion, irritation, eye damage, and aspiration hazards.

Storage Containers Dangerous Goods
Beautiful as fireworks may be, it’s best to avoid explosions in your shipping container!

Now that I know what dangerous goods are, which ones are safe to store in a shipping container?

Batteries that are in use, fuel that is in a container fitted to a vehicle or boat or a fuel burning appliance, infectious or radioactive substances, pool chlorine, or spa sanitising agents may all be stored safely and are not actually classified as dangerous goods in this country. That said, you may wish to read our article on mould and condensation when considering storing some of these items that are vulnerable to water damage and rust.

Some items are considered DG’s, but can still be safely stored with a few precautions. For instance, if you are storing anything pressurised or potentially explosive, you’ll need to be mindful about the range of temperatures that can be reached inside the container. ANL dangerous goods containers are already fitted with vents to help with humidity and rising temperatures, but you may also wish to install a tropical roof or place your container under a shaded area. If you will have regular access to a container in stationary storage, you might also consider airing it out every now and then to bring it back to ambient temperature.

Storage Containers Dangerous Goods
A slight exaggeration on the dangers of storing explosives.

If you are interested in shipping chemicals or paints, you may be concerned about leaks or spills during transport. ANL containers have taps on the floor for draining liquid, but also have removable mesh floors that allow you to install absorbable materials to prevent liquids pooling and leaking towards other materials, as well as enabling easier cleaning. Other than these convenient features in our shipping containers, you may choose secure your stored liquids between crates that are packed so as to avoid movement during relocation.

Make sure paints and chemicals are sealed tightly before packing into your storage container!

If you are ever unsure about whether or not you can safely store an item, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an ANL consultant. We are always happy to help. You can call us on 1300284896 or make an enquiry with our online form.

Storage Containers Dangerous Goods
ANL dangerous goods container fitted with vents, a tap, and removable mesh floors!

A few tips for the storage of fuel:

We know most of you probably aren’t storing fireworks and fog signals, but something a lot of people would like to store is petrol. If that’s you:

-Make sure that jerry cans or drums in your storage container are clearly labelled.

-Store incompatible fuels separately from each other

-Don’t store fuel near potential high temperatures, ignitions, sparks, or flames. (See article on safely storing furniture for ideas on maintaining ambient temperature).

-Install drains, catchment or spill containment for liquids to reduce potential of hazardous leakage.

-Don’t use empty food or drink containers. Invest in storage items that are specifically made to contain fuel.

-Make sure all lids are properly secured and sealed.

-Use safe decanting methods to avoid spillage in your storage container.

-Contact your local council if you want to dispose unwanted or contaminated fuel.

Storage Containers Dangerous Goods
Make sure fuel is labeled in stored in proper containers away from flammable items.

Storage containers offer so much freedom and choice, and it’s important to be informed and to protect yourself and your family. If you’re moving or going away for a while and you’re unsure if you are storing dangerous goods or hazardous substances, make sure you get professional help so you can enjoy anxiety-free, safe storage. We’ve provided a few resources if you’re interested in learning more, or you think it might be relevant to your needs.

Code of Practice for Dangerous Goods

Dangerous Goods Act of 1985

WorkSafe Information on Dangerous Goods

Emergency planning and dangerous good guidelines

OHS Legislation on Hazardous Substances

As a reminder, you should always feel free to call ANL at 1300284896 if you have any further questions on storing dangerous goods in storage containers.