Chemical Storage FAQs

How should my chemical storage building be designed?

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.

How will location affect my building type?

Location of the building can be either inside another building or outside to fit your needs. Fire Separation, which is the amount of fire rating required between two occupancies, or the separation distance between those two occupancies, is determined by the occupancy ratings, construction types, and distances between both buildings. To determine the required fire separation, it is best to consult with your local code authority. If your hazmat storage building is located at distances greater than 30 feet you may not be required to have a fire-rated building.

Do I need shelves?

Shelves are used to help keep chemicals organized. U.S. Chemical Storage offers a variety of shelving for your specific application. Offerings include 16-inch galvanized steel and stainless-steel containment sump shelving with a 2-inch lip. The sump containment lip will prevent small spills from entering the sump in the floor.

What is a sump or secondary containment in reference to chemical storage buildings?

The definition of a “sump” is a pit or reservoir providing containment for spilled liquids. U.S. Chemical Storage offers leak proof spill containment sumps in each standard model. This sump is then covered by a steel or fiberglass floor grating and is can be equipped with a “sump liner” of a plastic nature to provide resistance to accidental spills.

How do I comply with regulations?

Chemical storage buildings manufactured by U.S. Chemical Storage are designed to get your operation compliant. Contact a sales engineer to learn how we can find the best solution for your compliance needs. To learn more about specific chemical storage applications in your area, contact your local code authority.

What size building do I need?

Building size is determined by the amount of hazardous material you are planning to store, the need, if any, for working room around these materials, and must take into consideration the most efficient way of moving these materials into and out of your chemical storage building.

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 store 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. There are three steps to consider when deciding between a fire-rated and non-fire rated building. You must first determine what is to be stored and the quantity. Then you must decide where in relation to other buildings and property lines is the desired storage is to take place, and finally schedule a consult with the local authority having jurisdiction or local code expert to determine the storage building requirements. Our team at U.S. Chemical Storage has resources to help analyze your storage needs and building requirements but the final approval is made by the local authority having jurisdiction.


Explosive Storage FAQs

What are the classes of explosives?

For storage purposes, federal requirements classify explosive materials according to their velocity. There are three classes of explosive materials, per ATF 27 CFR 555.202:

  • High Explosives – explosives which detonate by means of a blasting cap (dynamite, emulsions, flash powders, etc.)
  • Low explosives – explosives which deflagrate when confined (black powder, safety fuses, ignitor cords, “display fireworks,” etc.)
  • Blasting agents – explosives consisting of fuel and oxidizer, intended for blasting and unable to detonated by a No. 8 test blasting cap when unconfined (ammonium nitrate-fuel oil and certain water-gels)

For more information, visit https://www.atf.gov/explosives/explosive-storage-requirements.

If storage magazines are mostly made of high-density wood, will that really contain a blast?

No. A common misconception is explosive storage magazines will contain a blast inside the unit—this is not the case. Explosive storage magazines work as a safeguard against theft and accidental detonation by improper storage and the environment.

Can DynaLoc magazines be customized?

Yes, like all our safe storage buildings, U.S. Chemical Storage can provide custom explosive storage magazines to fit your needs.

What are Day Boxes?

Day Boxes are used for the transfer and temporary, supervised storage of your explosives. These magazines are light enough for daily transport from your overnight storage area to the job site.

Does my explosive storage need to be grounded?

Yes, high and low explosives should have a grounding system according to the NFPA 70 standard. NFPA 70 is the National Electrical Code (NEC) of the United States and covers every facet of the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment. Grounding protects your building and its contents against electrical strikes and will need to be properly grounded by a licensed electrician.

Do I need a special foundation for my explosive storage?

It is not necessary to place your explosive storage container on a special foundation. However, a foundation such as concrete can help to provide a truly level surface. Be sure to check your local guidelines to determine if any footer is required.

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