The Safe Storage of Gasoline

With all the talk about generators lately, it is time to talk about safely storing fuel.  The majority of generators are gasoline powered.  A few are powered on tri fuel (propane, natural gas or gasoline) a few are on just propane or natural gas.  If you look at my blogs for the last week you will find a post on tri fuel generators.

The safest fuel to store is propane.  Just be sure and keep the bottle in the upright position.  Remember when you decide where to store the tanks, leaking propane is heavier than air and flows downhill like water.

However, most generators run on gasoline which is the most dangerous fuel.  This post will give you some safety tips to keep you from burning your home down or killing yourself.  Most of the information is mere common sense, but every year homes burn down, and people die from lack of it.

  • Do not store gasoline in your house, this includes attached garages.
  • Gasoline should be stored in a separate well ventilated area.
  • It should not be stored near electrical equipment or open flame. Remember a pilot light is an open flame.
  • A secure metal storage cabinet or box located a safe distance from your home is preferred method.
  • Gasoline should be stored in UL or State Fire Marshal approved containers.
  • Currently there are both metal and plastic approved cans on the market.
  • Cans should only be filled to 95% capacity to allow for expansion in hot weather.
  • Check with your local fire department to see our many gallons you may store legally.  Stay within your local fire regulations.

If you plan to store the gasoline for more than a few months you should add a preservative such as Pri-G.  Add the preservative to the fresh gasoline when the container is filled.  The makers of Pri-G claim that with periodic pretreatments fuel can be stored indefinitely.  This is what I use.

I am familiar with Sta-bil another fuel stabilizer currently on the market.  Right now I am avoiding it’s use because I have heard numerous complains about it damaging the plastic and rubber components of motors.

Remember that gasoline is a highly flammable liquid and that the vapors are heavier than air and will spread on the ground.  Do not under estimate it’s potential to hurt you.


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3 Responses to The Safe Storage of Gasoline

  1. Matt in Oklahoma says:;jsessionid=E7C4D637433284FEDA0D110BCDA0104D.qscstrfrnt01?categoryId=15

    is the best stuff I know of. I have used it for years in the truck, mower and generators with no issue. It even helped us with an old lawnmower that the fuel had been left in for too long

    • Andrew says:

      We have 20 gallons of gasoline stored for 4 years (in approved plastic containers). When I opened one the other day, I expected it to be gel, but it wasn’t. I don’t know that it was as fluid as fresh gasoline, but it was much better than I expected. You mentioned Pri-G had helped in an old lawnmower. Do you think it might make our gasoline usable? How would I know?

  2. Veteran Who Is Preparing says:

    Also ask the fire marshal about storage requirements. Mine said there is actually no limit when it is stored in fuel cans. The only regulations covered bulk storage capacity and storage location requirements. Apparently limits on fuel cans had never been thought of before. His preference was to keep it under 50gals. and away from the house.

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