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July 13, 2022

How to safely store oil drums

Steel drums are the best container for storing industrial oil and lubricants. However, you must ensure they are safely handled and carefully stored to avoid contamination.

While oil drums are manufactured to be long-lasting and robust, improper storage routines can contaminate the products inside with dust or moisture. Temperature changes and exposure to sunlight can also cause products to deteriorate.

Employees must also be trained appropriately to handle materials correctly and store them with the necessary care and attention.

Here are the most important things to remember when it comes to oil drum storage:

#1 Store oil drums indoors

Steel drums tend to be the most common drums used to store oil, but other materials such as plastic are sometimes used for transport and storage too. Regardless of the material used for the drums, they should be stored inside.

Storing oil drums outside leaves them exposed to the weather, even if they are covered. Water can leak into the drum and dilute the oil, while temperature changes will also be more extreme.

If you are storing oil in an industrial environment, you should have a designated storage area that is clearly labelled. For example, you could use our Industrial Drum Storage Bench, as it is perfect for use within industrial storage units.

#2 Keep the oil drums covered

Oil drums must be kept covered, even in transit in the back of a lorry or stored inside a warehouse.

While the drum may look perfectly sealed, it is always possible for microscopic contaminants to make their way in, causing the product inside to degrade over time. These contaminants can include dust, moisture, pollution, or anything else present when the drum is being either transported or stored.

Strip Curtains Direct offers Fully Enclosed Drum Stores to protect your oil drums from pollutants and keep them safe in areas where security is a priority.

#3 Store drums away from known contaminants

This may sound obvious, but it is really important to place your drum storage units as far away from any known contaminants as possible.

If your drum holds lubricants for the machinery in your workshop, keeping them as close as possible can be tempting. However, the drum can quickly become contaminated with dust and other particles from the production line. The best thing to do in this case, then, is to keep the drum in a separate area.

#4 Keep the storage temperature as consistent as possible

Oils and other lubricants often have specific temperature ranges they need to be kept in, or they can degrade. This means temperature fluctuations are an issue as they can cause the barrel to change shape, contract or detract throughout the day, wear the drum down over time, and allow microscopic particles inside.

To avoid this, keep drums stored inside in temperature-controlled areas - ideally dark and cool - where temperature fluctuations are minimal.

#5 Stack drums safely

Oil drums should be stored above ground level to avoid contamination and stop damage to the floor. They should be stacked on designated raised platforms, such as horizontal drum storage or vertical drum storage.

Your drums must be stacked appropriately. It is also critical that your employees are trained in proper handling techniques.

Here at Strip Curtains Direct, we have a wide range of IBC and Drum Storage Units designed for industrial use, and our staff are happy to help you find the proper storage solution for your needs. For more information, don't hesitate to contact us today.