How to safely store gas cans outside?

Sorry, can you repeat that? You’re wondering how to safely store gas cans outside? Now, that’s a question we didn’t hear in a while. Luckily, we still have the answer. In other words: the strategy hasn’t changed a bit!

Nowadays, an average person is just seconds away from finding the right info. You type a question into your browser and there it is! A simple answer to a mind-boggling conundrum! Here at Gas Answer, we’re trying to provide you with simple answers to big questions.

Let’s get a bit more serious. The topic of proper gasoline storage should concern just about everyone. We see no reason why would you want to miss out on some cool safety tips. That’s exactly why we’ve prepared a neat little article for your enjoyment. Stay tuned to find out how to safely store gas cans outside.

You should store gasoline outside of the building your family uses as living quarters. It doesn’t mean you should put gas cans out in the open. Quite the contrary! A building separate from your home, like a shed or an outdoor garage, will do the trick! Also, make sure there are no heating sources inside it, too! 

Table of Contents

What’s so important about proper gasoline storage?

We’ll take a guess and say you already know the answer. Still, one could never emphasize enough the risks related to improper gasoline storage. We’re talking serious security risks here! Gasoline’s not to be messed around with! Sorry if all those exclamation marks seem kind of angry.

Anyway, even the birds in the trees know what a tiny spark can do. Gasoline is, as we’re sure you know, a highly-flammable substance. It can create a mess in just a few seconds. That’s why it needs to be properly stored.

How do you properly store gasoline?

There are numerous things you can do to ensure the safety of your home. One of them, of course, concerns the safe storage of gasoline. So, how do you go about that? We’ll show you everything you need to know about proper gasoline storage.

  • Gasoline should be kept in a well-ventilated outdoor object (shed or a garage).
  • Never should you store gasoline inside your living spaces. Gas containers should be at least 50 feet away from your living area.
  • The children shouldn’t be able to reach it. Never let your children anywhere near the cans.
  • Only store gasoline in approved containers. Unapproved containers (plastic bottles, milk jugs, etc.) aren’t made to withstand the substance. Gasoline melts through low-quality plastic like a hot knife through butter.
  • Gasoline must be stored away from any heating sources. Also, it should be kept out of the path of direct sunlight.
  • If your storage room’s floor is concrete, put a piece of plywood below the can.
  • Storing your gasoline long-term? Add a fuel stabilizer to ensure it doesn’t go bad.
  • Last but not least, you should seal the gasoline cans tightly.

Alright, that was that when it comes to safety measures. By properly storing gas, you’ll ensure the safety of both your family and yourself. And there’s nothing more important than that! As if someone needs to highlight that one for ya, right?

So, now that we’ve seen standard safety recommendations, let’s check out the main topic. In other words: we’ll check if it’s possible to safely store gas cans outside. And if so, how does one do it?

Five gray gas bottles.

How to safely store gas cans outside?

As you could’ve read in the text above, storing gas cans outside of your home is preferable. Does that also mean you could leave gas cans out in the open just like that? Or, there are some safety precautions to take before you leave them outside? The answers to those questions and much more await you in the text below. But first, let’s check out some info (FAQ) concerning gas cans.

What are gas cans made from?

Gas cans are usually made from high-quality plastic, or HDPE (high-density polyethylene). As you could’ve guessed some are made from metal, too. They’re also more expensive. That’s one of the reasons why plastic cans are more popular among the common folk.

HDPE is a great material serious manufacturers use to produce gasoline containers. This substance shields gasoline from potential heat sources and other potential threats. Also, as we already said, gasoline can easily melt through low-quality plastic containers. If you’re thinking of using milk jugs to store gasoline – forget about it! You don’t want to put your whole neighborhood at risk.

Where can you buy approved, proper gas cans?

You’ll find them pretty much everywhere. From Amazon, through Home Depot, to Walmart, or your local hardware store. Wherever you think you’ll find them – they are there. Now, that’s a piece of unpractical advice, if there ever was one. Still, you get the point!

How many gas containers can a person store?

Well, that depends on where you’re situated. For example, let’s say you’re in New York City. The local laws state you can only store 2.5 gallons (about 9.5 liters) of gas per household. On the other hand, imagine you’re located someplace rural. There’s a good chance you’re able to store 5-10 times more than you would in NYC.

Also, you might want to check your homeowner’s insurance policy. There you’ll find a number of gallons you’re able to store without losing the insurance. Imagine a fire occurs, and it turns out you’ve stored more than it’s allowed. You wouldn’t get a dollar out of that scenario.

How long can gasoline stay inside a container before going bad?

Yep, gasoline can spoil pretty quickly. Still, the answer to the title of the paragraph depends on the type of gasoline you’re storing. For example, pure gas can last you from three to six months. What about ethanol-blended gas? Well, that one can last two to three months before it spoils. There are ways you can test for bad gasoline, just click here to find them out.

Is there a way to prolong the shelf life of gasoline?

Okay, we’re moving into off-topic zones here, but it’s important we cover this one also. Shelf life is a term that’s used to describe the time period after which your stored gas will spoil. So, how does one enhance it? You can do it by adding a fuel stabilizer to your gas. It can make your gas last from one up to three years.

Alright, it’s safe to say that’s enough. Let’s go back to our main topic for today.

Can you store gas outside?

As we’ve already said, gasoline should be stored someplace outside your living quarters. It should be at least 50 feet away from the building your family resides in. In that sense, it’s totally recommended you store it outside. But, if we’re talking about storing it outside, like in the open… That’s a whole other story.

An ideal place where you’ll store your gasoline could be an isolated shed or a garage. You’ll hear every safety expert stressing this fact. On the other hand, you’ll rarely hear anyone recommending you should store gas cans out in the open. By being inside an object, your gas cans will be protected from direct sunlight. Also, they’ll be protected from other environmental threats.

All in all: it’s good if you store your gas cans outside in an object separate from your home. It’s not good to store your gasoline cans outside your home out in the open.

Bonus tip on gasoline storage: Do not vent your gas cans

In 2009, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) banned the usage of gas cans that came with a vent. If you remember: more than a decade ago, there was another opening on the back. It helped you sip gasoline without spilling much of it. Nowadays, gas can have a single, self-venting opening. 

Contemporary gas cans are made to withstand the pressure that can build up inside them. That’s why shouldn’t vent them. They need to be tightly sealed. Also, you shouldn’t overfill them. Do not go above nor below the so-called line when sipping.

A quick recapitulation of all the things we’ve learned today

We don’t want to sound prophet-ish, folks, but the end is near. The end of this article, that is. That being said, let’s see what were the key points in today’s text:

  • Gasoline’s far from being good to mess around with. Risks related to improper storage should be avoided at all costs.
  • You should only use proper, approved containers for gasoline storage. The ones that are made from either HDPE or metal.
  • You’ll find proper gas cans almost anyplace you expect to find them. 
  • The amount of gasoline you can store depends on the local government policy.
  • You should keep your gasoline outside. That doesn’t mean: out in the open. It means: in a building separate from your family’s living quarters.

To reach a conclusion

So, that’s about it, folks! These were some tips on safe gasoline storage. Also, we’ve shown you how to store gas cans outside. In other words: we’ve shown you what the outside really means here. Anyway, always remember that your and your family’s safety is your top priority!