4 More Things You Can’t Do with Storage Containers

portable shipping container storage

In our last article on this topic, we covered some things you can’t do in a storage unit. This was after it was discovered that someone in Vancouver was caught living in a storage facility illegally.

Two things you can’t do in a storage unit, whether self storage or a portable storage unit: live in it or run a business out of it. It also goes without saying you can’t do artwork in it, or run a studio out of it. You can’t sleep it in either, just to be clear.

But there are more things you just can’t do with storage containers or storage facilities in Vancouver. In this article, we’ll cover more of those things, which you may not be aware of (though some are obvious… to most of us).

You can’t store animals in a storage unit

Animals, like humans, need ventilation, sunshine, and nature. You can’t store animals in a storage unit. If you do need a place for your animals to live while you’re gone, you could consider pet babysitters. Or, if you have a lot of animals to move, we wrote some articles on this subject here, to give you more info on the process:

You can’t store food in a storage unit

This one may not be obvious to everyone. A storage unit is not meant to be a warehouse or keeper of food. This mostly applies to perishable foods (see link above). Since other tenants are using the storage units for things other than food, it would not be good if food started attracting insects or rodents. That can affect everyone else in the storage facility. Just like our last article on things you can’t do in a storage facility, this poses a security and liability risk to your neighbouring tenants.

If you have a restaurant, and need to store food for other similar purposes, you’ll need to find a suitable food storage warehouse. Or, consider how you can add refrigeration or space in your restaurant, if possible.

Also remember that some storage units are climate controlled for the purpose of keeping belongings from moisture and other damage. This is not going to be most suitable climate for storing food perishables.

See our related article:

You can’t store illegal items in a storage unit

No, you can’t put illegal drugs, stolen property, unregistered vehicles, weapons and anything else illegal up in a storage unit. Also, no to illegally trafficked humans.

Need we say more?

Sure, you’ve seen this done on TV, but it never ends well for the bad guys who try it, now does it?

There may legal ways and procedures for storing firearms, as noted in this article. You should look into local laws about this before you stow them away, for best safety.

You can’t store toxic chemicals or flammables in a storage unit

If your are a mad scientist or nuclear physicist and need a place to store your collection of chemicals, don’t try to do so in a storage facility, please. Remember, humans that are untrained to handle these chemicals will be in and out of a storage facility accessing their belongings. If there is ever a leak, or if there is an explosion as a result of flammables (even by accident), you could end up causing a lot of damage to other people’s stuff. Storage facilities need to be kept safe from all this – even if they are manned and guarded.

This rule includes gasoline and propane tanks, which you may think are innocent (they’re just for cars and BBQs, right?). But they’re flammable, so they have to be stored properly.

Also, remember that electronic waste can be hazardous, and needs to be disposed of carefully. See our related article on how to move electronics:

On our FAQs page, we also list items that we can not ship for you, which include chemicals like nail polish remover (it’s got acetone in it!) and lighter fluid. Please have a look at that list for other items you can’t keep in storage.

So, keep your chemicals in a safe place please.

To conclude: keep storage units for storage only

The things you can keep in a storage facility are things like furniture, office papers, appliances (if safe), antiques (though you may want to insure them first), and your hobby materials, like printing presses, vending machines or that old restaurant-grade mixer you thought would kick-start your catering career. Sometimes, you can also store RVs or old cars at storage properties that have space for them (but pay your rent, or they can be towed away).

We recommend this article on tips to know before using portable storage in Vancouver.

In this article we mentioned you can re-purpose your storage unit into a garden gazebo and other things. But remember, that involves buying a storage container and legally placing it on your own property (or property you have permission and permits to use). In these articles on illegal things you can’t do in storage units, we are talking about commercial areas that are zoned for storage, and not anything else.

Ferguson Moving & Storage in Vancouver BC

If you’re moving your office or need storage space, call on the services of Ferguson Moving and Storage a call at 604-922-2212 or request a quote online.

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