CHEMICAL STORAGE Q&A
Building a custom unit to store hazardous materials requires attention to detail at each step of the manufacturing process. We are here to assist you with knowledgeable staff, resources, and transparency to ensure your building is specific to your needs and remains 100% compliant.
CHEMICAL STORAGE CONSIDERATIONS
Whether you are new to chemical storage, or know exactly what you’re looking for, the information below will guide you in the right direction. If you would like to speak with one of our experienced engineers, please don’t hesitate to contact us .
There are a few basic areas to evaluate when finding the proper storage building. Understanding your role in site preparation for container delivery and installation, gaining approvals from local and larger government entities, shipping, inspections, and safe offloading procedures are just a few of the considerations you need information and answers to.
We are here to support you with our expertise to ensure that you make the best decision based on your needs and budget. While selecting the right product, please review the US Chemical Storage Building Manual, a quick reference on all the important information you need to know.
STORAGE AND COMPLIANCE RESOURCES
We design and manufacture the most durable and dependable line of secondary containment buildings that are EPA, OSHA and NFPA compliant. Building codes and other regulations can easily be met by adding one of our optional accessories. Each building is FM and Warnock-Hershey Approved, and covered by our industry-leading 15 year Structural Warranty.
These compliant buildings are completely customizable, allowing our clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical manufacturing, automotive and other industries the freedom to design a building tailored to their needs. For more specific compliance information please review the documents below.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is “Chemical Storage”?
It is storage designed and manufactured specifically for housing chemicals, hazardous materials (also known as ‘hazmat’) and hazardous waste. For more information, visit the Environmental Protection Agencies’ website at the following links:
Why is there a need for chemical storage buildings?
Chemical storage buildings are designed to storage hazmat in safe, segregated and secure areas, and to prevent chemicals from leaking out into the environment in case of a spill. The term secondary containment refers to the sump area in the bottom of the building. The sump is what differentiates the chemical storage building from other storage buildings. The sump is usually a 6-inch deep steel well that is designed to collect liquids through the steel grate flooring.
Do I need a fire-rated building?
There are two types of buildings to consider: Fire Rated and Non-Fire Rated steel buildings. First identify the materials to be stored and then group them by hazard. A good preliminary step is to refer to the appropriate Material Safety Data Sheets that are required by OSHA, and get in touch with your local Fire Marshall. A more detailed analysis can then be made by the Code of Federal Regulations.
What size do I need?
Size is usually expressed in terms of the number and size of the containers to be stored. The containers might be 30/55-gallon steel drums or 5/15-gallon buckets. Keep in mind that regulations limiting the stacking of containers will affect the amount of floor space required.
How Do I Get Compliant?
Chemical storage buildings by US Chemical Storage are designed to get your operation compliant. Contact a US Chemical Sales Engineer to learn how we can find the best solution for your compliance needs. To learn more about specific chemical storage applications contact your local Fire Marshall or government entity.
What is a "sump" or “secondary containment” in a hazmat storage building?
The definition of a “sump” (noun) is a pit or reservoir serving as a drain or receptacle for liquids; a pit at the lowest point in a circulating drainage system. The risk management industry defines a “sump” in a chemical storage building as a 6-7” deep well in the bottom of a prefabricated steel building which is continuously welded to be “leak-proof”. This sump is then covered by a steel or fiberglass floor grating and is often equipped with a “sump liner” of a plastic nature to catch accidental spills.
What about the shelves?
US Chemical Storage offers a variety of shelving for your specific application. Offerings include 16" Galvalume™ steel and stainless steel containment sump shelving with a 2" lip. US Chemical Storage shelving is 100% hand-welded to be leak proof so you can meet codes and standards. The sump containment lip will prevent small spills from entering the sump in the floor.
Will location affect the type of building I need?
Location of the building can be either inside another building or outside to fit your needs. The distance from an occupied building will determine the amount of fire rating needed. Again, the best thing to do is to check with your local Fire Marshall. If you have flammables or combustibles, and you can locate your building 10' (ten) feet or more from an occupied building. If your hazmat storage building is located at distances greater than 10' (ten) feet you usually will not be required to have a fire rated building.
Active Storage vs. Inactive Storage
How will the building be used? Will it be a permanent structure or a temporary storage location? Will there be frequent movement of materials in and out of the building? Will chemicals be handled inside of the building?
Answers to these questions will dictate fire rating as well as the need for mechanical ventilation or explosion relief panels. Speak to one of our experienced Sales Engineers to learn more about safety accessories for your application.
Local codes, standards and regulations are the most important guide and decision-maker during the selection of building features. Chemicals classified as 1-A Flammable by the National Fire Protection Association, for example, may require mechanical venting, explosion relief panels and alarms.
US Chemical Storage offers both pre-designed and custom engineered options to properly protect the contents of your hazmat storage building. Options included heating and air conditioning, fire suppression systems, alarms, interior and exterior lights, floor grates, industrial grade sump shelving and custom door systems. We also offer you a selection of colors so your building will match existing structures. Click here to navigate to our accessories page.