Top things you can’t keep in a self storage unit

Image of converted shipping containersThe use of self storage units has increased dramatically over the years as we accumulate more and more belongings and outgrow our space. We buy things, inherit things and even ‘acquire’ things (normally by way of looking after things for family members or friends but never quite manage to get them back to their owners!).

So, now you find you’ve run out of space, but that’s OK, everything can go in a self storage unit, right? Not necessarily so. The vast majority of things are fine to store but there are some things that definitely cannot be stored in a self storage unit.

Like us here at Space Centre Self Storage, most centres will give you a clear guide about what you can and can’t store when you make your enquiries. However, don’t leave anything to chance; if you’re not sure read your paperwork thoroughly before signing, or better still, ask the centre directly. It’s not worth the risk of putting your safety or that of others at risk.

Lucinda Dangerfield, co director of Space Centre Self Storage. She said; “Most of what you can and cannot store in our units is common sense. We do get enquiries from potential customers about what you can put in our self storage units, so we have tried to make things as clear as possible and are always available to offer the right advice.”

To help you out here are the top things you cannot store in self storage.

 
Pets
It’s not uncommon to hear a story about small animals being kept in storage. It doesn’t matter how small they are or whether they’re in a cage, keeping animals in these airless spaces is cruel and inhumane. It is illegal and you can be prosecuted.

Weapons
Most self storage centres will not allow clients to store weapons in their units (legal ones of course!). You may be fooled into thinking that an independently lockable unit with CCTV security etc. and where you have the only key would be the ideal place. But it’s not! Not only is any ammunition explosive or flammable, but the UK regulations associated with owning firearms mean that it’s not possible for storage centres to comply fully.

Food
Self storage units, even those with climate controlled units, are not conducive for keeping food. Storing food in self storage is an incentive for unwanted bugs, rodents and animals. Some centres may allow canned goods, but you’ll need to check.

Illegal substances or goods
This includes anything that is illegal or has been illegally obtained. Drugs, illegally imported items and counterfeit items like tobacco, alcohol, clothes, perfumes handbags and toys all fall into this category. If you’re asked to help store some boxes after a trip abroad, think twice. Whether you actually own them does not come into play – it’s your unit and the buck stops with you.

Combustibles
Any potentially explosive material such as gas, paint thinner, oil, propane, alcohol, fireworks or matches should not be stored in a storage unit. They can be harmful to people and a danger to the storage facility itself.

Toxic or hazardous materials
Asbestos, toxic waste or any other hazardous material is not allowed, for obvious reasons. It is a hazard to you, other people and the storage centre itself. Don’t be tempted to dump that last of lot waste in the unit because you’ve finished late – you could be risking your unit.

People
This may seem like common sense but let’s say it anyway – you can’t use a self storage to live in. It may sound unlikely but there have been instances where people have tried to spend nights in a unit to save on accommodation costs, but it’s illegal and unsafe.

If there’s anything we haven’t covered that you have questions about, get in touch, we’ll be happy to help. We can of course, only give you advice based on general industry practice and our own centres and rules. If you are not local to us, your local storage centre rules may vary slightly.