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Seismic Considerations on Using 55g Drums for Alcohol Storage

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We're using stainless 55g drums to store our high proof spirits prior to bottling. We're in a seismically active area, and local officials are saying I need to brace or chain my drums to a wall for safety. Similar to chaining up a compressed gas cylinder or straping a residential water heater. They were unable to provide any specific code reference.

My thought is that these "UN Approved" drums are routinely used as shipping containers, and the center of gravity is probably such that it is unlikely to tip over in an earthquake. And if it did, these containers are designed to withstand such treatment.

Does anyone have any input on this? I have tried searching for anything in the code without much luck. I know drums are routinely used to transport and store fuel, so I would imagine this info must surely be out there, but Google is letting me down.

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In my opinion, the drums you mentioned should be more than fine to handle any amount of shaking that leaves the building around them intact. But....

Are these "recommendations" attached to anything mission critical for you to continue operating? For example, spill containment was "recommended" to us by some officials a while back....we took them as a recommendation, not a requirement, which subsequently resulted in our insurance threatening a non-renewal of our policy unless we acted on the "recommendation". That would make it a requirement, which would have saved me a bunch of time in the end, but that's not how they think... Here's my post RE that lovely event http://adiforums.com/index.php?showtopic=1020&hl=%2Bspill+%2Bcontainment

If the recommendations are not connected with anything critical to operating (like insurance, or your state permission to pay taxes), then I recommend you chalk them up as another "official" trying to act officially to justify the nameplate that's on their desk.

However, if there is a chance that there could be consequences to not complying, do exactly as they say, show them how good you were listening to them, thank them for sharing their infinite wisdom with you, compliment their mother's job in raising them, and send them away feeling good so that they leave you alone to do what you do.

Best of luck,


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