Storing gasoline may not be something that you think about on a regular basis. However, if you have a lawnmower, a chainsaw, or if you simply like to be prepared for emergencies, understanding the proper way to store gasoline can be very beneficial.
Gasoline can be dangerous if not stored correctly, but with the right precautions and steps, it can be stored safely and effectively. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about safely storing gasoline in your home or garage.
The Importance of the Right Container
Firstly, let’s talk about containers. Not just any old container will do when it comes to gasoline. This volatile liquid requires a special type of container for safe storage. According to safety regulations, gasoline should be stored in an approved fuel can or tank.
Moreover, the size of the container matters too. The maximum volume for each container should not exceed 20 liters. Why? Well, gasoline tends to expand, and a larger container filled to the brim leaves no space for this expansion, increasing the risk of rupture or leakage.
Therefore, make sure to leave some space in the container for the gasoline to expand. This is especially important if the storage temperature varies, as gasoline expands more when it warms up.
The Art of Handling Gasoline Containers
Handling gasoline containers with care is another crucial aspect of safe storage. Gasoline is a flammable liquid, and any spills could ignite if they come into contact with a heat source or spark. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep gasoline containers tightly sealed at all times. Handle them gently to avoid any accidental spillage. If you’re filling a gasoline container at a gas station, make sure to place it on the ground, as static electricity can ignite gasoline vapors.
Finding the Perfect Spot: Safe Storage Locations
Once you have your gasoline safely in its container, you need to find a suitable storage location. This should be a place that is well ventilated and away from living areas. Gasoline should ideally be stored at room temperature, away from any potential heat sources. This includes the sun, water heaters, space heaters, and furnaces.
A detached shed or a garage makes a great storage location as it allows you to store the gasoline away from your main living area, reducing the risk of fumes or a fire affecting your home. However, the location needs to be at least 50 feet away from any ignition sources, such as pilot lights. This is because gasoline vapors are heavier than air and can travel along the floor to ignition sources.
Local Rules and Regulations
Finally, it’s always a good idea to check in with your local authorities to see if there are any additional fuel storage regulations you need to follow. Local fire codes can vary, and you want to make sure that your gasoline storage practices are compliant with your local rules.
Additional precautions to take when handling gasoline
- If you get gasoline on your skin, wash it with soapy water to avoid skin irritation. Do not light a match or smoke until confident that all gasoline has been removed.
- If gasoline gets on your vehicle, wipe it down with a rag or paper towel. Do not light a match or smoke until confident that all gasoline has been removed.
- Gasoline should only be used for what it was designed for – as a motor fuel. Gasoline should never be used in kerosene heaters or lamps.
- Never mix gasoline and kerosene or diesel. In addition, never use gasoline in kerosene heaters or lamps.
How Long Does Gasoline Last?
Gasoline can degrade over time. Typically, it will start to go bad after about three to six months if it’s not treated with a fuel stabilizer. Using old, degraded gasoline can lead to poor engine performance and damage.
Can You Recycle Gasoline?
Yes, gasoline can be recycled. However, this should only be done by professionals. If you have old or unused gasoline, you can usually take it to a hazardous waste disposal facility, where it will be disposed of or recycled in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
In conclusion, safe gasoline storage involves using the right container, careful handling, storing it in the right location, and following local regulations. By following these steps, you can keep your home safe while ensuring you have gasoline on hand for your power equipment or in case of emergencies. Happy and safe storing!