7 Tips on how to safely store gasoline long term

It’s safe to assume everyone knows the risks associated with improper gasoline storage. Also, it’s not like you have to be an expert to figure that one out. But, do you know how to avoid those risks? In other words: do you know how to safely store gasoline long-term?

Whatever’s your answer to the previous question – you’re gonna like this article. Here at Gas Answer, we’re pretty dedicated to safety. That’s why we’ve chosen this topic in the first place. So, are you still wondering how can one safely store gasoline long-term?

It’s very important you store gasoline at least 50 away from all heat sources. Also, storage should reside in an object separate from your living space. Gasoline should be stored only in approved (HDPE) containers. Always check your state/country regulations concerning gasoline storage. Don’t forget to use a fuel stabilizer, just so your gasoline doesn’t spoil.

Feel free to check out some cool tips on how to safely store gasoline long-term. You’ll find them in the text below.

Table of Contents

Why’s gasoline storage such a delicate topic?

First things first, let’s talk about the basics. Here we’ll elaborate on why’s gasoline storage a topic that deserves special attention.

As we all know, gasoline is a flammable fluid. Did you ever see anyone smoking near a gas station? There’s a good reason why you didn’t. Even a tiny spark from your cigarette flame can create a mess, as it can set the gas vapors on fire.

Other hazardous characteristics of gasoline

You probably knew why you’re not supposed to smoke near a gas station. Are you wondering are there other reasons why gasoline is dangerous. Here we’ll point out some:

  • Gasoline ignites at once. Unlike dust explosions.
  • It can ignite without a single spark. In other words: it can spontaneously combust (although at a very high temperature).
  • It has a very low flash point. That means even a tiny spark can ignite the vapors when the storage temperature is higher than -23° C (−45 °F).
  • Breathing in air filled with gasoline vapor certainly won’t do you good. It can cause headaches, dizziness, or nausea.

Wait, what is the temperature at which it spontaneously combusts?

The info below might prove helpful if you’ve chosen to participate in a quiz or something. Still, it might be good to know it.

Gasoline spontaneously combusts at a temperature of 280° C (536 °F). This is called an ignition temperature. It’s not to be confused with a flash point (mentioned above).

Can gasoline melt through plastic?

Yes, it most certainly can. We’re glad you asked. It might sound like an unneeded piece of advice but never carry gasoline in a plastic bag. It will easily melt through the material.

Gasoline should be transported and kept only in an approved container. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. We’ll dedicate a section of the text to this topic later on.

What now?

Okay, now that we’ve got that covered – let’s cut to the chase! Here are the 7 tips on how safely store gasoline long-term! Stay tuned for some useful info!

7 tips on how safely store gasoline long-term

Now, what do we have here? Let’s take a look!

#1 Store your gasoline out of the way of direct sun

This might also sound like a piece of advice for dummies. But, sometimes it’s good to mention the obvious.

Gasoline must be stored away from any potential heat sources. We don’t want to repeat the whole tiny spark story. Make sure you store your gasoline container away from the path of direct sunlight. It’s the same with any easily combustible material.

Even though a scenario where exposure to direct sun caused a fire seems banal, it’s best to stay safe. Nothing is more important than ensuring the safety of people in your surroundings. Including yourself, that is.

#2 Keep your gasoline in a building separate from your living space

Now, if you’re planning to keep gasoline in your kitchen cupboards… Okay, no one is willing to risk that much. Gasoline containers shouldn’t even be in the same building as you and your family. That’s why you need to store in a building separate from the one you’re living in.

Whether it’s an outdoor shed or garage – it doesn’t matter. Everything’s better than storing it somewhere in your home. It would be really neat if your storage area is at least 50 feet away from any living spaces/ignition sources.

Anything else?

Actually, yes. As we’ve mentioned earlier, gasoline fumes can be poisonous when inhaled. They can cause anything from issues like minor headaches to serious illnesses. That’s also why should you keep it away from your home.

#3 Keep it out of children’s reach

This one should go without mentioning. Make sure the storage area is completely out of reach to your young ones. Or any other children, for that matter.

How to prevent kids from going into the room you’ve chosen for gasoline storage?

The best way to do this is to keep the storage room locked. Of course, you can tell stories, scare them into never going near the place or something. But, the most effective way is to keep the room locked.

A black and yellow CAUTION sign. You should be overly cautious when storing gasoline.


#4 Gasoline should be stored only in approved containers

We’ve mentioned this a couple of sections ago. You should never keep gasoline in unapproved containers. Gasoline can easily melt through plastic so you can forget about plastic bags or milk jugs. Also, you should avoid glass containers. Rare are those who’d like to try that out, but still – it’s better safe than sorry. 

Did you know even some high-ranked companies keep petroleum-based gasoline in unapproved containers? They’re risking a lawsuit there. What’s even worse, they’re creating an unsafe working environment for their employees.

Care to tell us which ones are approved?

Of course! By keeping gasoline in approved containers you’ll guarantee yourself a safe storage area. These containers are made from HPDE (high-density polyethylene). This material is commonly used to make gas tanks. It’s also possible to use IBC totes for gasoline storage. But, most countries don’t approve of storing that much gasoline as an individual.

#5 Check your local and state regulations

We’ve left the previous paragraph talking about regulations concerning gasoline storage. That being said, we’ll continue the talk right here. Before you decide to store a certain amount of gasoline, it’s best you check out local/state/country laws. Each state/country has a different stance towards gasoline storage. Let’s provide a brief example.

NYC regulations permit storing only 2.5 gallons (about 9.5 liters). The picture’s a bit different in some rural areas. As far as some local regulations go, you can store two dozen gallons.

Also, it might be good to check your homeowner’s insurance policy. Most of them permit storing only a limited amount of gallons. If you go over a certain number, they’re excluded from covering the damage. If the worst scenario even plays out, of course.

#6 Don’t fill your gas cans all the way to the top

This will be a short one! Did you know that gas expands as it heats? Now that you do, make sure you leave enough room while you’re filling the cans. Most gasoline containers have a so-called fill line. There’s your border!

#7 Use a gas stabilizer

To tell you the truth: even gas gets old. Wow, what an insight! As if you already didn’t know that. Anyway, gas doesn’t age well. Since you’re preparing gasoline for long-term storage, this should, of course, concern you.

Gasoline starts going bad about 30 days after you store it in a container. After that period, gasoline is still usable. It’s just that it doesn’t have the power it had when it was “fresh”. How to recognize bad gasoline? Feel free to visit this page.

What do you do then?

In order to prolong the aging period of gasoline, you’re gonna use a simple solution. That’s right! We’re talking about fuel stabilizers!

Adding a fuel stabilizer will enhance the durability of your gasoline by one to three years. You can find fuel stabilizers just about anywhere (local hardware stores, for example). They’re not that costly, too.

Bonus round: Fire extinguisher to the rescue

We said 7, but we thought of another tip along the way. It’s a quick one, also.

Make sure you keep a fire extinguisher near your gasoline storage. If something goes awry, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the problem.

How to store gasoline long-term? – something of a walkthrough

Now, let’s do a quick walkthrough. So, what are the seven (plus one) tips we’ve mentioned today:

  • Store your gasoline out of the way of direct sun. As you know, even a tiny spark can create a catastrophe.
  • Keep your gasoline in a building separate from your living space. Gasoline fumes are pretty poisonous.
  • Keep it out of children’s reach. Make sure your kids go nowhere near the storage area.
  • Gasoline should be stored only in approved containers. Storing your gasoline improperly isn’t recommended.
  • Check your local and state regulations. Also, check your homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Don’t fill your gas cans all the way to the top. Leave some space for gas to expand.
  • Use a gas stabilizer. That way, you’ll prolong the durability of your stored gasoline.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher near the storage area. For obvious reasons.

Final words

So, that was that. These were the seven (and don’t forget the bonus round) tips on how to store gasoline long-term. We hope you’ve enjoyed this little guide.