Shipping containers are quickly becoming the most sought-after housing option today. Not only are they affordable, but they are also environmentally friendly. Plus, they can be modified into awesome designs to suit each owner’s taste. However, people still question the safety of shipping container homes. 

However, one question that’s constantly on peoples’ minds is:  ‘are shipping containers dangerous to live in?’ Well, we shall find out shortly.

Wondering about shipping containers home safety? Read on!

You can’t help but fall in love with quality shipping container home designs. Shipping containers can be modeled to fit any number of needs including shelter, office space, storage, and more. However, a lot of question readily come to mind, and these questions, among others, include:

  • Do shipping containers contain harmful chemicals?
  • Are shipping container homes dangerous to live in?
  • Will a container home survive a storm?

Just below we are going to be answering all these questions and more! By the end of this article, you will know if shipping containers are dangerous to live in or not. Plus, whether they will be a viable option for you and your family.

Shipping containers are considered one of the most effective solutions to shelter because the modification and installation processes are quick and cost-effective. Additionally, Shipping containers are built from industrial materials that were made to withstand severe weather conditions. Lastly, Shipping containers also require less maintenance when compared with the traditionally built houses. 

Despite the advantages mentioned above, the billion-dollar question remains… Are container homes dangerous to live in?

Let’s find out!

are container homes safe

1. Shipping Containers Are Built From Strong Industrial Materials.

Shipping containers are being built using heavy metals, like steel, which makes them extremely durable. Enabling them to endure extreme weather conditions both on and off the sea. While also guaranteeing maximum protection of the cargo.

Shipping containers are built, bearing in mind the powerful winds and high waves they will be exposed to while traveling on the sea. Shipping containers can withstand winds up to 180MpH. Imagine a traditional house undergoing a 180MpH Wind Storm, there wouldn’t be much left. 

One crucial factor to consider before opting for a shipping container is your area’s climate and weather conditions. You must seek a professional’s service to help you modify the container such that the doors and windows are well placed for optimum ventilation.

Employing a specialist also ensures that the original structural integrity and durability of the container is maintained. Shipping containers are an excellent option for people residing in areas with extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Therefore, it’s safe to say that container homes can survive a storm.

Container homes are a go-to in the event of natural disasters. For example, during earthquakes, they can quickly be assembled to meet the immediate needs of the homeless.

are container homes safe

2. Container Homes are as Secure as Traditional Homes.

Remember that shipping containers are primarily built to provide maximum security of cargos and ensure they’re impenetrable. Containers are well known for providing the most rugged & secure storage. 

That said, we need to note that metals are cut away to create openings for doors and windows during modification. This means that the original security has been tampered with, so we need to balance maintaining the original protection.

Here’s how: 

We advise that you maintain the original structure as much as possible if you want to get a container’s full security benefits. That is, adopting the original door that comes with your container and fitting it in the primary position.

Notwithstanding, a possible solution to help maintain the original security to a great extent is to ensure that high-quality security doors and windows are installed to make the prefab just as secure as the traditional home.

Another way to significantly increase your container home’s security is to fasten it to a concrete foundation.

are container homes safe

3. Health Consideration

A lot of people have a concern about their health before moving into a prefab house. Shipping container homes can sometimes include harmful chemicals left from the manufacturer or construction process. 

Truth be told, research has shown that chemicals are used to treat the wooden floors in many containers to protect them from saltwater. Toxic chemicals such as phosphorus and chromate are contained in the painting process of these containers. They can pose serious health problems when spilled or inhaled.

The solution to the problem is simple. Get a new shipping container that has not been treated with harmful paints directly from the manufacturers. Alternatively, you can simply get a used container whose history is known to have not been used to handle toxic substances.

The problem with new shipping containers is that they can be more expensive than the used ones. That’s why so many people end up purchasing used containers because of the price. 

For preowned containers, we encourage the use of non-breathable flooring underlayment. This will prevent the harmful chemicals sprayed on the container’s wooden floor from penetrating the surface. After that, you can tile the floor for maximum safety.

Lastly, another solution is to completely replace the wooden floor with marine-grade plywood. It’s a special kind of plywood made with waterproof glue. It is strong, durable, and virtually free of defects.

are container homes safe

Scott Perry’s Joshua Tree building

4. Container Homes are Built for Hot & Cold Weather

A lot of people may be thinking that:

Container homes must be really hot because they’re made of metal.”

However, container homes utilize proper climate control to overcome this issue. By using heating units to provide heat in the winter and AC units for cooling off in the summer. The container home is just as comfortable as an apartment or condo.

Shipping containers can be modified for heat and cold control. If done the right way, your prefab home can be more comfortable and efficient than traditional homes because most prefabs use foam and fiberglass insulation.



Not only do shipping containers offer you protection from severe weather storms. Additionally, they offer incredible security for your belongings. Shipping containers are extremely difficult to break into. So your family & your things will be safe.

Throughout this article, we have seen that shipping container homes guarantee the same amount of safety as traditional homes do. Not only that, structurally they are equivalent as well. However, shipping container homes require significantly fewer resources & finances. So, when next someone asks you if container homes are dangerous, you know what to say. 

If you’re buying a used container, we highly encourage you to apply the safety features we have outlined. In order to neutralize any toxic substances that could be harmful to your health.

Finally, ensure that you work with only reputable shipping container modification companies to incorporate the best selection and fabrication processes. By doing so, potential health concerns for residential shelters would be eliminated.


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