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How to store aerosol cans: Aerosol storage cages vs safety cabinets

How to store aerosol cans: Aerosol storage cages vs safety cabinets

Whilst aerosol cans are a commonly used item in the home or workplace they are in fact classed as dangerous goods and need to be treated as such. In this article we will cover what aerosol cans are, the risks they pose in the workplace and the correct way to safely store aerosols to minimise any potential dangers they pose. 

What are aerosol cans?

An aerosol can is a self-contained system that uses a pressurized propellant, typically a hydrocarbon, to release a stored substance from a metal canister. It dispenses the substance as a fine mist, spray, or foam. In the workplace, aerosol cans are commonly used for paints, bug sprays, deodorants, lubricants, adhesives, and degreasers.

 Why can aerosol cans be dangerous?

Although aerosol cans are commonly used every day at home and in the workplace they are in fact classed as Class 2 dangerous goods by the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG code). Using aerosol cans at work can pose several dangers, including:

  1. Fire and Explosion Hazards: Aerosol cans are classed as Class2 flammable gas due to the flammable propellants they use. If these cans are exposed to heat or sparks, they can ignite or explode, leading to fires and serious injuries. Common ways cans explode in the workplace as from: being left too close to a heat source such as a BBQ or hot equipment, being left inside hot vehicles, being ruptured or pierced from machinery or equipment; or being dropped, impacting the structural integrity of the can.

  2. Projectile Hazards: Aerosol cans are pressurized containers. Puncturing or improperly handling them can cause them to burst, leading to injuries from cans being turned into a projectile due to the release of the pressure.

  3. Ventilation risks: Using aerosol cans in poorly ventilated areas can lead to the accumulation of fumes, which can cause asphyxiation or increase the risk of fire and explosion.

  4. Chemical Exposure: The substances dispensed from aerosol cans, such as paints, lubricants, and adhesives, can contain harmful chemicals. Inhalation of these chemicals can cause respiratory issues, dizziness, headaches, and long-term health problems like lung damage or central nervous system effects.  

 

How should aerosol cans be stored?

 According to Australia and New Zealand standard AS/NZS 3833:2007 - The storage and handling of mixed classes of dangerous goods, in packages, aerosol cans should be stored in dedicated aerosol storage cages with perforated walls to provide natural ventilation. The perforated walls of aerosol storage cages allow for any leaked flammable vapours from cans to be safely disperse into the atmosphere and prevent them from becoming an ignition risk. 

Aerosol storage cages are also built from heavy duty steel which provides protection if a can ruptures or explodes, stopping it from becoming a projectile and causing further potential fire risks.  

Using aerosol storage cage vs using a flammable liquids cabinet

It is a common misconception that aerosol cans can be stored in flammable liquid storage cabinets, however dedicated aerosol storage cages are the safest option according to Australian Standard AS/NZS3833-2007. 

This is due to the fact that flammable safety cabinets have self-closing tight fitting doors which are purpose built to contain any spilled liquids to the inside a cabinet. When storing aerosols however this can cause flammable vapours to build up inside the enclosed cabinet to dangerous levels, increasing the risk of ignition, explosion or worker asphyxiations.   

Titan Safety's range of Australian Made aerosol storage cabinets

Titan Safety’s aerosol storage cages are economical, secure and safe. They are made to comply with the requirements of AS/NZS3833-2007 and better yet they are manufactured right here in Australia.

Key features:

  • Constructed from heavy duty, powder-coated steel for durability.
  • Cages store between 12 and 960 aerosol cans.
  • They feature high open area perforations, to deliver natural ventilation in accordance with Australian Standards.
  • Doors are fitted with a magnetic latch for easy closure and can be locked using padlock lugs.
  • Bolt down plates allow them to be permanently fixed for added security.
  • All appropriate warning and safety signage is included.
  • Made in Australia

Click here to view our full range of aerosol storages cages