áspédan ţéod

Home | The Peace Maker | test - main | test | Preserving Wood | Housing: Sod Igloo | Chickens: Permaculture Feed | Storing Nails | Security: Analysis of a Mugging | Tengwar | Havamal | Tribal: Tribal Dynamics - Abstract | Alaska: Subsistence Homesteading | Alaska: Agriculture Industry in Alaska | Recipes | Alaska: Major Ag Product Categories | Alaska: Seeds | Tribal: Sacred Enclosures | Model Constitution | Bog Iron | Stock and Drop | Age of Salvage Socities | Child Rearing: In Favor of Sheltering | 4 Billion | Planning for a Post-Oil Economy | Peak Oil and the Problem of Infrastructure | Food Storage | Book List | Oil Press | 100 Items That Disappear First | Cooking Heating and Lighting | Emergency Grain Mill | Outdoor Oven | Hobo Stove | Sharpening | Grain | Growing Feed | Reproductive | Childbirth | Abatis | Self-Sufficiency for Six | Homemade Cosmetics | Dutch Oven | 120/Village | Pests | Brewing | Links | Weapons: Making a Sling | Weapons: Slingshot 1 | Weapons: Slingshot 2 | Weapons: Slingshot 2 | Construction: Building Masonry Cookstoves | Heating: Emergency Wood Heat | Heating: Solar Heating Plan for Any Home | 10 Steps to Localization | Surviving In The City | Tribal: Modern Asatru/Germanic | German Shepherd ears | Alternative Lighting: Plant Oils and Waxes | Enlightened Survivalism | Quarterstaff | How Cheaply We Could Live | Life After The Crash | What To Do? | Survival Steps/Individual Level | 21 Strategies for Creating an Emergency Fund | Where to Live/Collapse Survival | Collapse on a Budget Part I | Collapse Survival on a Budget Part II | Collapse Survival on a Budget Part III | Commandments of Saving Money | Natural Remedies | Household Tips | How To Plan For An Emergency | Coming Collapse: A Community Checklist | Cap and Ball | Emergency Supplies/Kits | How To Prepare for an Emergency | Straw Bale on a Budget | Probable Timeline | Off Road | Storing Gasoline | Urban Invisibility | Pet Health/Nutrition | Zeer Pot | Rabbits | Making Charcoal
Storing Gasoline

Gasoline is one of the most flammable liquids there is. Its vapors are completely invisible, very heavy, and will secretly travel like a snake from room to room. That's why you should never store gasoline inside your home or basement. Always keep gasoline cool, stored in a tightly sealed, approved safety gasoline container that is prominently labeled and out of reach of children. Keep this container in your garage (detached is preferred) or an outside storage building. -- Bob Vila


Here's how to handle, store, and dispose of gasoline safely.

Gasoline is an important part of our everyday lives. It lets us run our cars and trucks, getting the kids to school and the groceries home. It helps us keep our grass and gardens looking good, powering mowers and lawn care equipment. It lets us get away on vacation, running boats, off-road vehicles, and motorcycles.

But gasoline can be dangerous if not handled or stored properly. Gasoline should only be used for its intended purpose - as a motor fuel - and stored only when absolutely necessary. It should not be used as a solvent, cleaner, barbecue starter or for any other non-engine use.

That's why you should take the following precautions when handling, storing, and disposing of gasoline. There's a lot of life in a gallon of gas - if you handle it safely.


What are some of the standards and regulations regarding storage of flammable liquids such as gasoline? Your local and state governments are the first places you should check for standards and regulations on gasoline. There are numerous codes, standards, and regulations that cover storage and handling of gasoline within the United States and Canada. For example, fire codes and regulations restrict the amount of gasoline an individual homeowner can store* (usually no more than 25 gallons), in approved containers of less than five gallons capacity each. The use of tanks or storage of quantities larger than 25 gallons is typically regulated. Most states restrict the amount of gasoline you are allowed to carry in containers in your vehicle. Fire codes also regulate the amount and type of gasoline storage allowed in other occupancies, including service stations, garages, car dealers, hospitals, and commercial and industrial businesses. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) establishes codes and standards for fire-related safety issues, which can be incorporated into binding regulations. Many of these codes have been adopted by regulation in many communities. A partial list of some of these codes includes:

NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code

NFPA 30A, Automotive and Marine Service Stations Code

NFPA 37, Standard for the Installation and Use of Stationary Combustion Engines and Gas Turbines

NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems

Back to top



What precautions should be taken when filling a gasoline container?

Keep gasoline away from ignition sources like heat, sparks, and flames.

Do not smoke.

Shut off the vehicle's engine. Disable or turn off any auxiliary sources of ignition such as a camper or trailer heater, cooking units, or pilot lights.

Only store gasoline in containers with approved labels as required by federal or state authorities. Never store gasoline in glass or unapproved containers. Portable containers must be placed on the ground, and the nozzle must stay in contact with the container when filling, to prevent buildup and discharge of static electricity. Do not fill a container in or on a vehicle, including in car trunks or truck beds. (Placing the container on the ground minimizes any static electricity buildup that could lead to a spark and cause a fire.)

Fill the container at a slow rate. This will decrease the chance of static ignition buildup and minimize incidents of spillage or splattering.

Manually control the nozzle valve throughout the filling process.

Keep your face away from the nozzle or container opening.

Avoid prolonged breathing of gasoline vapors.

Never siphon gasoline by mouth. Do not put gasoline in your mouth - gasoline can be harmful or fatal if swallowed. If someone swallows gasoline, do not induce vomiting. Contact a doctor immediately.

Keep gasoline away from your eyes and skin, because it may cause irritation.

Use gasoline only in open areas that get plenty of fresh air. Never use gasoline to wash your hands.

Remove gasoline-soaked clothing immediately.

Fill container no more than 95 percent full to allow for expansion.

Place cap tightly on the container after filling - do not use containers that do not seal properly.

If gasoline spills on the container, make sure that it has evaporated before you place the container in your vehicle.

Report spills to the attendant.

Use gasoline as a motor fuel only.

When transporting gasoline in a portable container make sure the container is secure from tipping and sliding, and never leave in the direct sunlight or in the trunk of a car.

Back to top


What is the safest way to store and handle gasoline? Gasoline must be stored in an approved container or tank. Gasoline containers must also be provided with an approved label as required by federal and state authorities. Storage in anything other than an approved container is strictly prohibited by fire prevention codes.

Gasoline is a flammable liquid and should be stored at room temperature, away from potential heat sources such as the sun, a hot water heater, space heater or a furnace, and away from ignition sources. Gasoline vapors are heavier than air and can travel along the floor to ignition sources. Therefore, appliance pilot lights or igniters should be kept more than 50 feet from where gasoline is stored or handled, and elevated. Other precautionary measures include:

Do not smoke where gasoline is handled or stored.

Always keep gasoline out of reach from children.

For better ventilation, it is best to handle gasoline outdoors.

Keep gasoline containers tightly closed and handle them gently to avoid spills.

Do not mix even a small amount of gasoline with kerosene or diesel.

Do not use gasoline in kerosene heaters or lamps.

Store gasoline in a building separate from the house or place of occupancy, such as a shed or garage.

Put gasoline in a small engine (like a lawnmower) only when the engine and attachments are cool.

Storage of gasoline requires developing precautions for spill cleanup. Minor spills should be absorbed with sawdust, paper or rags. Larger spills may be contained and collected. Check with your local government or hazardous waste disposal center to determine the proper avenues for disposing of spilled gasoline. Place recovered gasoline and cleanup materials in approved, labeled containers for proper disposal. Never dispose of spilled gasoline or cleaning materials on the ground or into your garbage, drains, toilets or sewers. If you do, it might cause a fire, or seep into streams, bays, lakes or your groundwater.

Back to top


How long can gasoline be safely stored? If the container or gas tank will not be used right away, will be exposed to direct sunlight, or will be stored at temperatures above 80° F much of the time, add a fuel stabilizer/additive to the gasoline when you first buy it, prior to storage. Fuel stabilizers contain antioxidants, which prevent gum and other compounds from forming on gasoline; biocides, which prevent microbial growth; and corrosion inhibitors, which prevent the formation of rust and corrosion. Fuel stabilizers/additives are available at auto parts stores.

Many manufacturers of engines put restrictions on the amount of time gasoline should be stored before use in engines. Always refer to the manufacturer's recommendations. Freshness is improved if the container or gas tank is stored in a cool place and is kept almost 95 percent full. However, leave some headroom for gasoline to expand if it warms up in storage. Without an airspace, expansion will force liquid gasoline out of the container or distort the container.



What is the proper way to dispose of gasoline? Never dispose of gasoline by pouring it onto the ground or into a sewer, street drain, stream or other waterbody, or putting it into the trash. These actions are environmentally harmful and may result in a fire, explosion, or soil, surface or groundwater contamination. Fines and criminal penalties may be associated with improper disposal.

Excess gasoline in good condition can be added to the fuel tank of a gasoline-
powered car or truck. See manufacturer's recommendations. (Don't dispose of gasoline/oil mixtures for two-stroke cycle engines this way.) However, it is not easy to dispose of gasoline that has deteriorated. There are organizations that will help dispose of gasoline in an environmentally responsible way. Finding the best option may take some researching. Sources of information are your community's fire department, recycling center, and hazardous waste disposal center. Check the government pages of your phone book to locate these organizations.

Commercial organizations are usually listed in the Yellow Pages under Environmental and Ecological Services and Oils, Waste. You may have to pay for disposal. Therefore, try to purchase only the amount of gasoline that you absolutely need.

Back to top This information has been extracted from a variety of petroleum company publications. Language may vary from company to company.


Whom should I contact for further information about gasoline? Contact your local fire department or local government to familiarize yourself with your local fire and building codes regarding storage of gasoline. You may also request a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) covering the potential fire, health and safety hazards of gasoline, from your fuel supplier or service station dealer. If you have further questions, you may want to contact the National Safety Council or the National Fire Protection Association. The National Safety Council is a clearinghouse for information on storage and handling of flammable and/or combustible liquids (including gasoline). The National Fire Protection Association develops codes and standards as well as research and education for fire and related safety issues.


Many of us must store some gasoline around our homes to operate lawnmowers, tillers, chainsaws and so on. But if stored improperly, a fire or explosion could result, destroying the house and causing injury or death. Gasoline is a product designed to fuel internal combustion engines. It is a highly volatile liquid, and its vapors can be ignited easily by a spark, flame or other hot object. When mixed with air in the right proportions, the vapor of one cup of gasoline has the explosive power of about five pounds of dynamite, enough destructive force to destroy any house or car.

Of course there are other dangers which can be presented by the improper handling and storage of gasoline and other flammable materials, such as using these materials in the wrong engine or appliance and poisoning. Let's look into some safe ways to handle and store gasoline.


How many times have you seen people pumping gasoline into milk jugs and the like and then putting it in the trunk of the car or the back of the truck to haul it home? Have you ever wondered how they make it home without setting the vehicle on fire, or how they keep the house from burning days later when the fuel expands, possibly rupturing the jug or blowing the top off? Milk jugs, anti-freeze jugs, glass containers and many 'gas cans' are not suitable for carrying or storing gasoline.

Some plastics become brittle with age and are incompatible with gasoline. Other containers are not strong enough to withstand the pressures of expansion and contraction caused by temperature changes. In addition, some containers sold as gas cans usually cannot be sealed well enough to prevent spilling.

The best containers for handling


gasoline are Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) approved safety cans (see Figure 1). Safety cans are available in several sizes and have various mechanisms for opening the valve to pour the liquids. Funnel spouts can be added to make pouring easier and reduce spills. Although the cost is somewhat more than the cheap cans at the hardware store, they are much safer and will outlast several of the others. Both UL and FM have certain requirements which must be met before a safety can is allowed to carry their approval. The primary features of safety cans, as required by the testing laboratories, are listed below:

Stability: The cans must remain stable when filled and placed on a 30 degree slope.

Leakage: When a filled safety can is inverted, the valve cannot leak more than four drops per minute over a period of five minutes (UL) or 10 minutes (FM). This test must be passed before and after 5,000 (FM) or 10,000 (UL) normal opening/closing operations of the valve. In addition, the seams and joints are examined under pressure for leaks.

Strength: UL tests the body strength with a hydrostatic test of 25 psi. FM tests the strength of the spout and carrying handle by applying loads from 25-125 pounds on the pouring spout, and from 75-250 pounds on the handle, depending on the size of the can.

Fire Exposure: FM places a gas filled safety can in a large flat pan of water on which one inch of fuel is floated and allowed to burn (about eight minutes). The can must vent internal pressure during the fire exposure and retain the contents without spillage.

Flame Arrester: FM checks the flame arrester by passing natural gas through the screen and burning it on the other side. When the gas is shut off, the flame must not flash back through the arrester.

Abuse: FM requires a full can to withstand a three foot drop onto a concrete floor without sufficient damage to cause leakage.

Non Metallic Materials: If the can is not made of metal, additional test requirements must be met. The container must be compatible with various flammable liquids, impermeable to gasoline and it must meet puncture resistance requirements.


Obviously there will be times when it is necessary to carry a container of gasoline in your car or truck, but try to keep it to a minimum. Hauling gasoline can be dangerous. When you must carry gas, secure the can so that it will not slide around or tip over if you must make sudden stops or turns. Remove the container as soon as you get where you are going.


Storing gasoline and other highly flammable liquids at home is also dangerous if not done properly. The best way to store gasoline is in a well ventilated area separate from the house. The location should have no electrical equipment, open flames or other sources of ignition present. In addition, the location should be protected from the heat of the summer sun to keep evaporation to a minimum.

Do not store gasoline in the basement of your home or in the utility room. The furnace, water heater, clothes dryer or any of several other items could ignite fumes which may leak from the can and travel considerable distances. If you do not have a suitable storage area, consider building a cabinet outside your house for storage or purchasing a commercially available flammable liquid storage cabinet, available from safety equipment suppliers. In addition, never put gasoline or any other nonfood material in a container which resembles a food container. Keep gasoline and other dangerous materials locked up. These practices will prevent children from getting to the material and being accidentally poisoned.

Never smoke when handling gasoline and never refuel a hot or running engine. Take a break if you must smoke or let the engine cool down. If fuel is spilled, wipe it up immediately. Before starting the engine, move at least 25 feet away from the fueling area to avoid igniting fuel vapors which are heavier than air and may linger for some time.

Gasoline Storage Practices*
By: Tailgunner
23 March 2004

This information has been extracted from various internet resources including Standard/Chevron Petroleum and from my own personal experience. The recommendations are of a general nature, followed by recommendations and comments for some specific uses or situations.

For general storage there are four precautions that will delay the deterioration of gasoline:

-Fill containers about 95% full.

-Cap containers tightly.

-Store containers out of direct sunlight in a location where the temperature stays below 80F most of the time. I have found that gasoline stored over the winter here in Alaska tends to be more stable because our average temperature is much below 80F.

-Use a gasoline stabilizer like Sta-Bil or Pri-G

The first two actions reduce the evaporation of gasoline during storage and reduce the exposure of gasoline to air and water vapor. The 5% air space allows room for the liquid gasoline to expand if its temperature rises. Storage temperature affects storage life

I prefer to put a fuel stabilizer additive like Sta-Bil (be sure to read the directions on the container) to the gasoline regardless of how long I plan on storing it. Fuel stabilizer additives are available at auto supply stores, Walmart, some service stations and convenience stores. Follow the label directions. The best mixing is achieved when the stabilizer is added to the container before it is filled with gasoline. The stabilizer will work only if it is added to fresh gasoline; it can’t fix gasoline that has started to deteriorate. Federally mandated reformulation of gasolines to increase the oxygen content produces a mix that will survive storage as well or better than conventional gasoline. Adding oil to gasoline doesn’t change its stability. Gasoline-oil mixtures for two-stroke-cycle engines will survive storage as well as gasoline itself.

The volatility of gasoline is tailored for the range of temperatures expected in the locality where it is sold. Engines fueled with "summer gasoline" may be more difficult to start in cold weather. Gasoline that is tailored for colder climes has additional benzine added and other chemicals to increase its ability to vaporize and burn more cleanly in internal combustion engines.

Store gasoline only in containers intended for the purpose. A 55-gallon metal drum is the only container approved by the Uniform Fire Code for the storage of more than five gallons of gasoline. Be careful to not store a container of gasoline near an ignition source such as an appliance pilot light. This is important, do not store gasoline in a garage near gas fueled heaters or water heaters. Vehicles that may sit for a period of time like boats or motor-homes need special consideration to prevent driveability problems (hesitation, lack of power) which may be encountered after storage. The probable cause is gum deposits in the carburetor, on the injectors, or on the fuel filter/screen. Treating the gasoline in the vehicle’s tank with a deposit-control additive may remove the problem deposits. Deposit-control additive concentrates are available at service stations and auto supply stores. Techron Concentrate is Chevron's most effective general purpose deposit-control additive. Follow the label instructions. Follow the label directions. If driveability doesn’t improve by the time the treated fuel has been used, check the fuel filter and screen (if any) in the fuel tank for plugging.

Boat fuel tanks are more likely to be contaminated with water for obvious reasons. Water removal is particularly important for boats used in salt water and for boats fueled with gasoline oxygenated with ethyl alcohol. Salt water corrodes some metals. So does the alcohol-water layer that separates if gasoline containing ethyl alcohol is contaminated with more than one percent water. Formulation changes that have occurred in the past few years - the addition of oxygenates and the reduction in benzene and other aromatics - have made gasolines more subject to microbial growth. Even if no water is detected, add a biocide to the gasoline in the fuel tank. Follow the label directions. The best mixing is achieved if the biocide is added to the tank before it is filled with gasoline. Biocide additives are available at marinas and boat supply stores.

Small-Engine Equipment - This applies to outboard motors, jet skis, snowmobiles, and lawn-and-garden equipment. Many manufacturers recommend that their equipment not be stored with gasoline in the fuel tank. The tank should be emptied and the equipment run until the fuel line and carburetor also are empty. Both recommendations are intended to protect essential fuel system parts from gum deposits. I have a generator that I like to keep fuel in ready for use if the power shuts down. Every spring and fall I change the oil and run the generator for an hour or so to get everything up to operating temperature and use it with a load (this is important to generators). Once yearly I also change the spark plug, keeping the old one and cleaning it for rotation in next time until they are best thrown out. After checking everything out I refuel it with gasoline that has been treated with Sta-Bil and set it aside for later use. I have not had difficulty when keeping to this procedure. I use the same procedure with my snowblower, lawnmower, weed eater and chainsaw. I run each at least twice a year even if they are not needed, just to keep my confidence in starting them and in their running properly.

Equipment with a two-stroke-cycle engine requires fuel that is a mixture of gasoline and oil. While this mixture is as stable as gasoline, I recommended that you not prepare more than you plan to use over a 4-5 month period. I treat all my stored fuel regardless of projected use with Sta-Bil or another gasoline preservative then use it within two years of treatment. Remember the gasoline-oil mixture should not ever be added to the fuel tank of a gasoline-fueled motor, always mix it in your storage containers unless unable to do so (in which case add the Sta-Bil first then fill the tank up to 95%).