Aerosols – An Overview

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What are Aerosols and what class are Aerosols?

Put simply, an aerosol can is a self-contained dispensing system where the metal cylinder houses a substance, that can be released as a fine mist (spray) or foam. Aerosol cans are used in this fashion for a very wide variety of substances including paints, lubricants, cleaners, fly sprays, and deodorisers.

Regardless of the substance, all aerosols are classified as a Class 2.1 Dangerous Good (DG) due to the propellant.

For an overview of hazardous substances read our editorial here.

Where are Aerosols most likely to be found?

Because of the variety of substances, they are also found in almost every industry. However, some industries have a larger requirement, and these would include the automotive sector, mechanical workshops, civil construction sites, and engineering facilities.

What are the risks to people and the environment?

The guidelines around the safe storage of aerosols is covered by the AS/NZS 3833 Standard - The Storage and Handling of Mixed Classes of Dangerous Goods.

Within the above Standard it states aerosol cans must be:

  • Protected from the weather and direct sunlight
  • Stored at least 3m from heat and ignition sources
  • Kept 1.5m from flammable liquids, when held in a dedicated aerosol store
  • Stored in a way that prevents stacked cartons from falling over or collapsing

What are the design requirements for cabinets?

The critical thing when storing aerosol cans is that as a Class 2 DG, they cannot be stored inside the same cabinet as Class 3 Flammable Liquids. Therefore, while it is not uncommon for aerosol cans to be stored inside a flammable cabinet, there must be no Class 3 liquids in there at the same time, and the vent plugs open to allow the cabinet to freely vent.

However, to minimise any confusion and lower the risk potential for unsafe storage, we recommend your aerosols are stored in dedicated Aerosol Stores, which are well vented, fully secure, and clearly labelled with the correct hazard decals.

Chemshed Aerosol Stores are available in five sizes:

What are the ventilation requirements for Aerosol Stores? 

Overheating and explosion is always a risk when choosing where and how to store your aerosols. Therefore, choosing a storage unit that has plenty of natural ventilation, and located in an area shielded from direct heat, is very important.

What are the storage quantity limits for Aerosols?

You are required to set up a Hazardous Substance Location (HSL) for aerosols, once the amount present exceeds 3,000L aggregate water capacity, for more than 18 hours. While this is a lot of aerosols, many industries are opting to secure or segregate their aerosols at much lower levels than this.

Where can I put an Aerosol Store?

To minimise the risk of heat exposure, sparks, or similar hazards, the AS/NZS Standard states your aerosol store needs to be kept at least 3 metres from heat and ignition sources.

What are the signage requirements for Aerosol Stores?

Stores holding aerosols need to be clearly labelled as such – with a dedicated Class 2 Flammable Gas decal.

Are there secondary containment regulations when storing aerosols?

As these are a gas, there is no requirement for secondary containment when storing aerosols.


Incompatible substances

Please consult the Dangerous Goods Segregation Chart for specific details.

Chemshed 20-Year Warranty

Storing dangerous goods is a demanding task but the strength and reliability of Chemshed cabinets, mean they are right up to it. To prove our confidence in them, they are backed up with a 20-year Warranty, which will give you the peace of mind that you are purchasing a solution that rises to the storage challenge, like none other. Find out more here.

Creating safer working environments

At Hazero our mission is zero hazards. Our extensive range of quality products will help you store, contain and control and clean-up dangerous goods and hazardous substances.

View our full range of Chemshed Aerosol Stores here.

Need help creating a safer working environment? Contact our team today on 0800 688 844 or email us at Our team are also available for on-site assessments across New Zealand, click here to request a site visit.

Content above falls under the Hazero Disclaimer, for more information click here.

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