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How To Move Dangerous Goods

Owain Banfield
Written by Owain Banfield
26th January 2018 (Last updated on Tuesday 9th April 2019)

There can be a lot to consider when sorting through your belongings, getting ready for a move. Like answering whether you want to keep that exercise bike, whether you need a helping hand with packing up your belongings and how you are going to get your giant sofa down the stairs and out of the front door.

Just to add another consideration to the mix, it is important to plan and account for how you will move any dangerous items during the move such as firearms, exotic pets or gas tanks. Often removal companies will have a list of items which they are not willing to touch when helping you move, including many of these dangerous items. On the other hand, you may choose to make special arrangements for items even if removals companies are willing to move them.

Here at Compare My Move we have compiled a number of guides to help you tackle all sorts of concerns when it comes to moving home, helping you make the process a lot smoother and often quite a bit cheaper. In this guide, we cover some of the considerations that should be made when moving dangerous items from your current home to your new one. 

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This article will cover the following points

Moving House With Firearms Moving House with Exotic Pets Moving Gas Tanks Transporting Chemicals Other Weapons & Sharp Objects Transporting Breakable Objects Moving Unstable Structures If In Doubt, Ask Your Removal Company

Moving House With Firearms

Of course, if you are based in the UK it is unlikely that you will have any semi or automatic firearms that will need moving between houses. However, due to the popularity of sports such as clay shooting and hunting as well as practical applications such as pest control, many houses will have some sort of firearms that need special measuring taking before moving. 

It is very unlikely that your removal companies will be willing, able or insured to carry your firearms for you. Therefore, due to your legal responsibility for any guns you own, it is likely that it will have to travel with you in your vehicle. When this is the case, the normal rules and considerations will apply.

Although it may seem obvious, double check your firearm is not loaded when packing. It will need to be packaged up in some way, this can either be in a gun carry sleeve if you have one or it will need wrapping up in something substantial. This protects your item from any potential knocks but also helps keep it as concealed as possible.

Make sure any ammunition is kept separate, preferably in a different vehicle where possible. It is also important to ensure that the item is kept in a secure part of the car for example a locked boot. This is especially true if you plan or feel there may be some occasion where the gun will be left unattended. 

Finally, make sure you are in accordance with any laws in line with your firearms licence. This will likely include updating the address at which the firearms are kept and an inspection of the new storage facilities. 

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Moving House with Exotic Pets

It is unlikely that you will want your removal company to move any beloved exotic animals and unlikely that they would be able to do so. Although it is difficult to give very specific advice given the individual needs of your pet, below we give a few elements you should think about to minimise their stress during transit: 

Ensure they are secure. You may want to buy a specialist travel container if you do not already own one, this will allow peace of mind for you that your pet is safe. Make sure that the container is secured within the vehicle as to not move around and stress the animal out.

Ensure they are comfortable. This again can partially be down to the container which you use to transport them, but also down to what you also put into the container with them. For example, include some of their favourite item. However, do make sure nothing is big or heavy enough to damage them if the journey gets rough.  If your pet loves a certain climate such as the warm it is important to devise a way in which to keep the temperature of their container at a comfortable level.

Consider your route. The route you take can make a huge difference to your pet’s comfort. It is preferable to take the shortest route to limit the time they spend in transit, however avoiding potentially bumpy roads will also go a long way to a smoother journey for all.

If you are not comfortable with transporting your exotic pet there are a number of specialist services available around the country that may be able to assist you in this task. 

Moving Gas Tanks

Ever seen a car sticker stating that there is compressed or flammable gas on board? This isn’t just another whimsical bumper sticker, but instead a strong warning; gas is dangerous and transporting it can be risky when not done correctly. 

The main thing to ensure when moving gas tanks is that they and everything around them are secure. This is because they are most likely to be a danger if struck hard by another item or by rolling or falling into another item at speed. This can be done by ensuring gas canisters are wedged in, for example between your back and front seat in the foot well. Alternatively, use a good quality and strong chain or rope to fasten these items into place during transport.

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Transporting Chemicals

There is every possibility that you have some harsh chemicals stored away in your house. In domestic environments, it is likely that these are being used for some sort of cleaning purpose or potentially for some specialist hobbies. 

On most occasions, chemicals present in households can be moved safely with ease. Simply make sure that their containers are tightly sealed and are not going to come off during transit. It may also be worth putting them into a sturdy waterproof container to ensure they do not damage your vehicle on the occasion that they do spill.

On the rare occasion that the chemicals in your home are very harsh or toxic it is recommended to seek specialist advice in how to move them to your new home. 

Other Weapons & Sharp Objects

We have already covered all the elements which should be considered when moving firearms. However, many people either collect or train with other weapons which can be of concern when moving. These items could include anything from swords or other weapons used for martial arts purposes, recreation or decorative purposes.

Similarly, although removals company will usually transport them, items such as kitchen knives are dangerous and steps must be taken to mitigate any risks.

When transporting these items, it is important to pack them well. This may include nullifying any pointed ends with something like a block of wood or hard plastic that is unlikely to be pierced. Any sharp edged should also be covered, either by a specially made sheath or by wrapping a number of time in a strong material equal to the sharpness of the blade.

Claire Watson, 28th January 2019
"Quick, efficient and friendly service. Everything was moved with care. Great value for money."

Transporting Breakable Objects

Although removal companies will usually be happy to move many of them items for you, there is a level of danger in moving items such as vases, pictures and any other item that can create small sharp shards if dropped, hit or broken. For this reason, it is important to make sure they are packaged well ready for transport. 

You may want to read our packing tips but starting by wrapping these items in paper and securing that paper with a good quality adhesive tape is a good starting point. In the unfortunate occasion that they do break any shrapnel will be contained within the paper and will be safer to clear away.

Placing these items into a well-padded box will also help limit the possibility of them breaking in the first place, which of course is preferable. Using a specialist moving service such as white glove removals will also ensure your items are kept safe and limit any potential danger.

Moving Unstable Structures

Ever had a book shelf, bed or chest of draws collapse on you unexpectedly? 

Some large objects can be hazardous when unstable. This is especially true when it comes to removals and when larger items of furniture become unfastened from the wall or moved onto unstable flooring. For this reason, it is important to take precautions when moving these items. Where possible and safe to do so, dismantling large and heavy objects will limit any chance of potential damage they can cause, as well as making it easier for them to be carried in and out of the building.

Where you are not comfortable doing this, it is worth asking your removals company whether they offer any services for dismantling larger potentially dangerous items of furniture. 

If In Doubt, Ask Your Removal Company

In this guide, we have covered a number of different areas of concern when moving dangerous items between your current and new home. Whether this is exotic animals, fire arms or gas canisters there are some generally accepted best practises in safely and securely transporting these goods. 

In cases where you are still not certain you are able to move these items safely we highly recommend seeking professional help. A good quality removal company will always carry out a home removals survey to assess any special items that you want moving.