4 Tips and Considerations for Safe Fuel Storage

4 Tips and Considerations for Safe Fuel Storage

Sometimes it’s necessary or convenient to store fuel on your property. Perhaps it’s to have handy in case the lawnmower or snow blower runs out of fuel, or it’s emergency fuel storage to make sure you have fuel on hand in case the power goes out and it’s necessary to use the generator. Some people prefer to have fuel on their property to make it possible to stay partially or totally off the grid. Whatever the reason, it’s important to store the fuel safely.

Check Local Regulations

Depending on the type of fuel, there are typically local regulations stating just how much fuel a homeowner can store on their property and how it needs to be stored. Following these rules is a good start to keeping fuel storage safe.

Containers

Tempting as it may be, it isn’t safe to store fuel in just any container. It’s important to purchase safe storage containers. For small amounts of gasoline, this typically means approved fuel storage containers that hold 5 gallons or less, while for larger amounts of LP gas or diesel it may mean either above ground or underground fuel storage tanks. These storage tanks need to be located a certain distance away from the home and kept away from anything that might cause the fuel to ignite.

Location

The location of fuel storage is important. The safest thing is to keep it downwind and downhill from all buildings on the property and to keep it isolated from buildings. This will help minimize any damage if something goes wrong with the tanks.

Other Considerations

Each type of fuel has its own potential issues when it comes to fuel storage. For example, liquid fuels may be evaporated by solar heat, LP gas must be stored under pressure, gas isn’t able to be stored for very long before it goes bad unless it’s chemically treated, and diesel may absorb moisture from the air or form sludge from trapped bacteria. Before starting to store any type of fuel, take the time to learn more about what is required to do so safely. Clean up any spills right away, and keep the proper fire extinguishers nearby in case of any adverse events.