Flammable Aerosol Can Storage Rules

Written by samantha volz
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Flammable Aerosol Can Storage Rules
Aerosol cans come in handy but can cause serious damage if exposed to high temperatures or flames. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Aerosol paint and cleaning products can certainly make at-home projects easier to deal with, but these products are often highly flammable and can create unexpected hazards around your home. If you are storing aerosol cans with flammable materials, use caution regarding where and how the cans are stored to prevent accidental injury or even death from fires.

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Temperature

Store flammable aerosol cans at or below room temperature, which is around 18.3 degrees Celsius. You don't want to freeze the material since freezing causes expansion and can potentially puncture the side of the can. Instead, shoot for a temperature range between 7.22 and 18.3 degrees Celsius. This cool temperature storage will ensure that the contents of the can are viable but that any accidental leaks will not be ignited by sudden sparks or high temperatures. A humid or moist environment can also help since moisture in the air will prevent unexpected sparks.

Storage Space

Do your best to separate the aerosol cans from other storage materials as well as from any fixtures that feature high temperatures or flames. Never store flammable aerosol cans in a basement or similar area that features hot water heaters, gas heaters, fireplaces, boilers or any other type of intense heat. You should also keep them away from high voltage areas or anywhere that an unexpected spark could ignite. While the cans themselves protect the flammable aerosol product from exposure to such temperatures and sparks, a leak or sudden flame could cause a catastrophic fire. And keep them away from any pointed edges or corners even if it's only furniture with sharp edges. These points will puncture a can and can result in a dangerous spray of flammable liquid.

Can Rotation

Store your cans so that you ensure that you use open cans and older cans first. Much like using food products, this type of rotation will cut back on the number of cans you have (since you will use up an open one before opening a new one) and will prevent the materials from going bad. Depending on the type of material inside the can, the longer it sits, the more likely it is to gradually degrade the can. If you suspect that your can is not sturdy or that the material within cannot be safely used, dispose of it as hazardous waste.

Safety Cabinets

Many companies sell safety cabinets designed to handle aerosols, which might be a worthwhile investment if you keep a lot of paint or chemicals on hand in these cans. Keep these cabinets in a cool, dry area and away from direct sunlight or any ignition sources. Only open the cabinet when you need to put in or take out an aerosol can; leaving the cabinets open exposes the cans to greater risk. Use labels or notes to keep track of what each can is for and when it was placed into the cabinet so that you can effectively rotate stock and use the chemicals correctly.

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