Gasoline-fueled engines run everything from vehicles to lawnmowers and snowblowers, and getting fuel to those engines is not always simple. Safely transporting, storing and using gasoline can help keep you and your vehicle safe.
Basics of gasoline safety
Gasoline is a volatile substance by its very nature. Its fumes are toxic to breathe and very flammable. In order to stay safe around gasoline, it is important to keep the fumes from gathering in any space, especially spaces where the fumes could ignite. Gasoline also degrades over time, and after two years or more, the gasoline may do damage to engines it is used in because of water or contamination that gets into the fuel.
How to store gasoline
Many city and state municipal codes put limitations on how much fuel can be legally stored in residential areas. Usually, that limit is between two and 10 gallons in garages or unattached outbuildings. Gasoline should always be stored in approved containers, which are generally plastic or non-reactive. This reduces the possibility of sparks and allows just enough fumes to escape to prevent them from building up in the container. Gasoline should always be stored in a building that is not a residence, in an approved container and nowhere near any potential ignition source.
Most people keep a gas can in their trunk just in case they run out of gas. Traveling with a can of gas in your vehicle’s trunk can be very dangerous. You should only travel with a completely dry, empty gas can in the vehicle. There are secondary options as well, including fold-flat disposable gas “cans” made of a lined cardboard product. No matter what kind of container you transport gasoline in, it should be kept in the trunk of your vehicle and be taken out as soon as possible. Once the fuel has been used or put in its intended place, let the gas container air out and dry out completely before re-capping it.