Frequently Asked Questions
Whether storing hazardous chemicals or explosives, safety is paramount. Here you’ll find answers to often asked questions about our storage solutions. If there is something you’re looking for that is not addressed here, please let us know so we can better meet your needs.
Request a Quote
Chemical Storage FAQs
How should my chemical storage building be designed?
Start by speaking with one of our experienced Technical Sales Engineers to learn about the needs of your application. They will want to know what type of chemicals you are storing? How much of it will you be storing? What proximity to other buildings, people, egress paths, or environmental features will it need to be? Do you require special spill containment? And from there they’ll ask any related questions that determine additional options; Material Handling – Climate Control – Ventilation – Occupancy – Lights – Sensors – Alarms – Door Styles – Eyewash Stations and other requirements are not uncommon. Answers to these questions will dictate the building’s fire rating construction as well as anything else you’ll need for proper code compliance.
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 type of chemical or hazard being stored, and distances between buildings, egress pathways, or environmental features. To determine the required fire separation, it is best to consult with your local code authority. Inside another building or within 10 feet of another building, you’ll be required to have a 4-hour fire rating. If your hazmat storage building is located at distances 30 feet or greater your building may not be required to have a fire rating at all.
Do I need shelves?
Shelves are used to help keep smaller containers of chemicals organized. U.S. Chemical Storage offers a variety of shelving for your specific application. Most commonly used is a galvanized steel shelf with a 2-inch wall around the perimeter. The leak-proof containment sump lip around the edge will prevent small spills from reaching 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. All our sumps are tested for leaks for a 24-hour period prior to finishing. The sump is then covered by a steel or fiberglass floor grating and can even be equipped with a resistant plastic sump liner to protect against corrosive chemical accidental spills. The size of the sump is dictated by code based on the volume of liquid being stored within the building.
How do I comply with regulations?
Chemical storage buildings manufactured by U.S. Chemical Storage are designed to get your operation compliant. Contact one of our technical sales engineers to learn how we can find the best solution for your compliance needs. You will also want to learn more about specific chemical storage requirements in your specific area by contacting your local “Authority Having Jurisdiction” (AHJ) who could be a local fire marshal, a municipal code official, or a city environmental department.
What size building do I need?
Building size is determined by the amount of hazardous material you are planning to store, the need for occupancy or inspection 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 flammable, combustible or corrosive chemicals, hazardous materials (also known as ‘hazmat’), and hazardous waste. For more information, visit the Environmental Protection Agencies’ website at the following links:
- EPA’s Hazardous Waste Identification, Characterization and Delisting Information
- EPA’s Hazardous U.S. Chemical Storage Reporting Requirements
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 or contain chemical fires or explosions, or to contain chemicals from leaking out into the environment in the event of a spill. The need is largely code-driven based on the chemical or materials being stored and the proximity to people, property, or the environment. A fire code inspector, an “Authority Having Jurisdiction” (AHJ), or Insurance Inspector could be any of the people that require the use of one of our buildings and will know the code requirements in your specific location.
Do I need a fire-rated building?
First consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to determine the type of chemical you’re storing and any storage requirements listed. There are two main classifications of buildings to consider: fire-rated and non-fire-rated steel buildings. There are three main questions you should answer before engineering or design can begin on your building: what is to be stored, how much of it is being stored, and where is the location it will be stored? You will also need to consult with your local “Authority Having Jurisdiction” (AHJ) or local code expert to determine your area’s specific storage building requirements. Our team at U.S. Chemical Storage has a wealth of knowledge, experience, and resources to help analyze your storage needs, but the final approval is made by the local AHJ, so you will need to ultimately ask them about your requirements early in the planning process.
Explosive Storage FAQs
What type of storage is used for blasting agents?The term “blasting agents” refers to products used for the mining industry or the Department of Transportation’s blasting for highways. This type should utilize Type 2 indoor or Type 2 outdoor models and Type 3 day boxes during transport.
Are DynaLoc™ explosive storage magazines suitable for military use?Yes. Our DynaLoc™ explosive storage magazine options meet or exceed federal government mandates described in ATF CFR 555—including ATF 27 CFR, Part 555.208, and DoD 5100. U.S. Chemical Storage specializes in working with government entities for unique solutions because we understand the value of mission preparedness.
Which day box is right for me?We offer both steel and aluminum day boxes to transport explosives. If you need to repeatedly unload and load your day box and weight is a concern, an aluminum model helps reduce weight while still meeting ATF requirements. Additionally, our IME DOT dayboxes meet stringent SLP 22 requirements for “Recommendation for the Safe Transportation of Detonators in a Vehicle with Certain Other Explosive Materials.”
Why do I need an explosive storage magazine?The ATF dictates the need for an explosive magazine. To maintain safe and reasonable practices there are rigid standards for owning explosives. Explosive storage magazines should meet standards and certifications for the proper storage of these materials. Our DynaLoc™ magazines meet and exceed these standards set forth by the U.S. government, including ATF 27 CFR, Part 555.208, and DoD 5100.
What is the difference between a Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4 explosive storage magazine?Each class requires a unique storage solution to ensure optimal safety and management. Type 2 is for storage of high explosives, Type 4 is for storage of low explosives, and Type 3 are day boxes that are used to transport both high and low explosives. Our Type 2 and Type 4 explosive storage magazines are available in both indoor and outdoor styles, and every storage type we offer features theft-resistant, weather-resistant, and fire-resistant construction.
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.