How many years should DG storage equipment last? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how long your dangerous goods storage equipment will serve your business. The longevity of your equipment depends on how it’s used, how often it’s cleaned and maintained, where it’s located and what’s stored inside. And perhaps, most importantly, how the equipment is actually designed and constructed by the manufacturer.

In this post, we take a deep dive into this topic and offer up some general info about how many years you should get out of STOREMASTA safety cabinets and outdoor chemical storage containers. We’ll also offer some handy tips on looking after your DG storage equipment, so you can keep using your cabinets and containers for years and decades to come.

What Factors Affect the Longevity of DG Storage Equipment?

Here at STOREMASTA, we often talk to customers about the mileage they’ll get out of their DG storage equipment. Particularly, in relation to how long key pieces of equipment will last, such as a safety cabinet or an outdoor storage container. 

However, this all depends on several factors. These include: 

  • What dangerous goods class are you storing?
  • Are the goods kept in chemically compatible containers with secure lids?
  • Is the contents of your store within the maximum capacity limit?
  • Have you installed your cabinet or outdoor storage container correctly?
  • Do you regularly inspect the equipment?
  • Is the equipment cleaned out correctly?
  • Do you ensure that the doors, lock, latches, shelves and other spare parts are in good working order?
  • Do you have the ability to replace or adjust these parts when they have been damaged?
  • Is the spill bund inspected and cleaned out at regular intervals?
  • Is your cabinet subject to excessive chemical vapours?
  • Is your equipment stored indoors or outside?
  • Does the equipment suffer from impact damage?
  • Is your store located near marine environment? (This may require special paint for added corrosion protection.)
  • Are your staff trained on how to correctly operate, load and stack the equipment, as well as safely handle and use the chemicals? 

To keep your DG storage equipment in top shape, it’s important to ensure that every step —from installation to maintenance — is performed in the right way to reduce the stress on the cabinet’s control features and structural integrity.

Storing Chemicals to Reduce Hazards

One of the most important factors that can affect how long your chemical storage equipment will last is the class, type and volume of hazardous substance. The chemical, as well as the container its stored in and how carefully it’s handled/stored, can produce hazards that may affect the integrity of your DG storage equipment. 

For example, if corrosive substances aren’t stored with secure lids, they could easily drip onto shelves or settle in the spill containment sump. If the sump isn’t inspected and cleaned out properly, then the chemicals may cause some issues with the metal construction of the cabinet.

Need to learn more about the cabinet design requirements for each chemical class?

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On the other hand, even a non-corrosive substance, such as a toxic chemical, may inadvertently cause damage to the cabinet. Imagine a situation where the toxic chemicals are stored in drums, however, these stacks aren’t stable. When a staff member opens the cabinet, these unstable stacks may topple. This could cause a range of safety issues, including human harm and toxic chemical spillage. In addition to this, the falling drums could damage the cabinet and render it non-compliant. Such an event may include the door frame being seriously dented, which would prohibit the doors from closing and the automatic door closing system from operating. 

We’ll now go into detail about how long key pieces of our STOREMASTA range will last for, if they’re used and maintained in a safe and practical manner. 

How Long Will My Chemical Storage Equipment Last?

Let’s break down key pieces of storage equipment that we manufacture and offer a general idea on how many years your equipment should last. Remember, this is not an exact science, as the way your equipment is installed, used and maintained will determine how long you can use your safety cabinet or outdoor storage container for. 

storemasta cabinet

There are many factors that can impact the longevity of your dangerous goods storage equipment, including where it is installed and how it is used and maintained.

Strong Corrosives 

If you’re storing strong corrosives in a Class 8 metal cabinet, you probably shouldn’t be. Strong corrosives are best stored in a poly cabinet as this prevents destruction of the equipment due to corrosive vapours. 

Strong corrosives in a Class 8 metal cabinet will only last about 1 year. 

However, when storing strong corrosives in the correct Class 8 poly cabinet, you’ll get a lifetime of use. Our polyethylene corrosive substance storage cabinets are constructed with no metal parts, and can generally last decades. The only thing you may have to consider is replacing the dangerous goods and hazard signage if they’re kept in a hot or sunny location. The latch and elastic closers on poly cabinets can be replaced, and it’s a relatively simple process that your staff can undertake when they are regularly inspecting and maintaining your chemical stores. 

Class 8 Corrosives

 If your corrosives don’t emit large volumes of highly corrosive vapours, then it’s safe to store them in a Class 8 metal cabinet. These cabinets are protected from corrosive leaks and spills as we fit PVC spill trays on the shelves and in the spill sump. This PVC coating prevents the cabinet or outdoor store from corroding when spills occur. 

Class 8 corrosive cabinets will generally last a minimum of 10 years, with outdoor corrosive stores lasting 20 years or more. 

Outdoor chemical storage containers, even though they’re subject to temperature fluctuations and weather conditions, are a piece of equipment that’s built tough. The outdoor units usually last longer than indoor chemical storage cabinets due to the difference in construction, particularly the strength of the heavy duty sheet steel structure. 

Safety Cabinets

 There are a multitude of various safety cabinets that are designed and constructed to hold other classes of dangerous goods.

These include:

  • Class 3 Flammable Liquids
  • Class 4 Flammable Solids
  • Class 5.1 Oxidising Agents
  • Class 5.2 Organic Peroxides
  • Class 6 Toxic Substances

If these cabinets are installed in an indoor location, out of the range of moving equipment and vehicles, you should get around 10 years of use out of your equipment. Just make sure that you inspect, clean and maintain your indoor chemical storage cabinets, paying particular attention to the spill sump and the automatic door closing system.

Outdoor Chemical Storage Containers

When using outdoor chemical storage containers, whether they’re relocatable DG containers or IBC stores, we generally suggest that these pieces of equipment can also last around 20 years.

As they’re designed and constructed to weather the elements, these durable storage containers can serve your business for decades.

However, just beware that you will have extra security concerns when chemicals are stored in an outdoor environment. Developing further security measures, such as security fencing and CCTV, can help deter vandals from damaging your property.

Outdoor container

You should get around 20 years of use out of your outdoor chemical storage container.


REMEMBER: When you purchase a STOREMASTA product, you are covered by our 5 year manufacturer’s warranty. Find out more about our warranty here.

When Should You Decommission your DG Storage Equipment?

Of course, all good things must come to an end – including the use of your dangerous goods storage equipment. 

There are some tell-tale signs that it might be the right time to start thinking about replacing your chemical cabinets or outdoor chemical storage containers. 

Look out for signs of serious damage or age, including: 

  • Substantial corrosion
  • Dents or scratches that can’t be fixed
  • Unstable footings
  • Spill sumps that can’t work properly
  • Damaged doors that can’t close

How To Repair and Maintain DG Equipment

However, on the flip side of this, there are many things that you can do to repair and maintain your chemical cabinet or outdoor chemical container.

 You can purchase parts to repair a range of issues that may be caused by misuse or impact damage, including: 

  • Replace shelving
  • Adjust the door closing speed
  • Fit a replacement handle kit
  • Replace the entire door closing system
  • Fix the handle lock if it’s sticking
  • Replace the safety door closer in a chemical cabinet
  • Replace a poly cabinet door closer (highly corrosive cabinet)
  • Replace dangerous goods and hazard signage
  • Adjust the footings
  • Replace the safety cabinet vent bung
  • If you have spill trays, these can be easily replaced when needed
  • Fresh coat of paint to the exterior of the store or cabinet

 DG Storage Equipment That Lasts

 Chemical safety is an investment in more ways than one. When you purchase dangerous goods storage equipment, you’re committing to improving health and safety, as well as chemical compliance in your operations. However, you’re also investing in a piece of equipment that should service your company for decades to come. Here at STOREMASTA, we know our safety cabinets and outdoor storage containers will go the distance, because our quality assured systems mean that you’re getting DG storage equipment that’s made to last. 

If you’d like to learn more about dangerous goods storage equipment, we have the Ultimate guide for you. Our latest offering, The Ultimate DG Storage Handbook, covers a wide range of topics including the difference between dangerous goods and hazardous substances, how to conduct an onsite risk assessment before your purchase your equipment, the types of equipment that you can consider, and how to review the control measures that you’ve put in place. Whether you’re new to DG or you’ve been handling these substances and articles for years, our Ultimate Handbook is a great tool for your workplace when it comes to chemical safety and storage.

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