Many auto repair shops, dealerships and retailers offer tire storage to their customers. It is important to remember that rubber tires represent a serious fire load and storage should be approached with care and proper risk planning. Although tires do not ignite readily, if subjected to fire conditions they can burn rapidly emitting intense heat and large quantities of toxic smoke, becoming difficult to extinguish. A concentration of tires in any one area is a high hazard.    
Tire Storage Safety

Indoor Storage

For retail operations, no more than 250 tires should be stored inside the building. If pick-up of used tires is done on a weekly basis, no more than 50 used tires should be stored on site.  Appropriate indoor storage requires tires to be stacked in stable configurations to prevent collapse and for 1 metre wide aisles to be maintained free of obstruction.


Warehouses with an area of more than 250sq meters (2,691 sq ft) used for storage of tires must be equipped with automatic sprinklers that are designed and adequate for the occupancy. Proper storage of tires is critical.  Properly stored new tires are an acceptable fire hazard subject to appropriate racking and clearances which allow for firefighting access. Due to the risk of damage to valuable stock of new tires, they are to be protected from damage by heat, light, moisture, ozone and deformation while in storage.


For general fire prevention, ensure portable fire extinguishers are wall mounted and serviced annually, any welding or hot work is done in approved areas and that smoking is prohibited.

Outdoor Storage

The most common and cost-effective way to accommodate the growing demand for tire storage is to use shipping containers located outdoors, away from buildings. These containers are inexpensive to obtain and provide secure storage. To prevent unauthorized access, ensure all four lock slots are utilized using quality padlocks, and shroud or house the locks to deter cutting.

If tires are stored in a chain linked area, be sure to secure against unauthorized access and locate tires at least 15 metres away from buildings. It’s important to control vegetation growth and maintain good housekeeping in the area to reduce the risk of fire.