STORING GASOLINE AT HOME LONG TERM

Plastic gas containers.

Plastic gas containers.

This article is a guide to storing gasoline long term. I’m going to say right off the bat that STORING GASOLINE IS A DANGEROUS PROCESS. Gasoline is extremely combustible. Please, please, please, make sure that you know what you are doing before you attempt it. I really don’t recommend it unless you feel fully confident that you understand the process and the risks.

A Note on Diesel

Diesel is safer to store than gasoline. If you decide to purchase a generator consider a diesel one, as they will last longer and the fuel will be easier to store.

Of course, not every vehicle or machine runs on diesel, so you will need to know how to store its more dangerous cousin, gasoline, as well.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT STORAGE CONTAINER AND EQUIPMENT

NATO heavy duty metal gas cans are a good choice for gas storage. They are extremely durable.

Certified plastic gasoline cans may be used as well. Make sure to use only approved containers, as gasoline will eat through most commercial plastic containers.

Preparing a Gas Can

  1. Rinse them out 3 times with water. Check for any leaks.
  2. On the third rinse, empty the water into a bucket. Does any rust or particles come out? If yes, the inside may need to be treated, and if that doesn’t work the can must be discarded. If no, it’s ready to go.
  3. Sand down the outside, and spray with rubberized coating. This will help avoid rusting.

Other Helpful Equipment

  1. Heavy duty metal nozzles for the can. Get at least a few.
  2. A jiggler hose, which can be used for siphoning fuel.

FILLING THE GAS CAN

  1. Put some gas treatment preservative in the can. This will make your gas stay good for longer. It will also serve as a great barter item in a SHTF scenario.
  2. Place the can on the floor near the gas source. Placing it down will prevent static electricity, which can ignite the fuel.
  3. Fill the can with gasoline to no more than 95% full (to allow for expansion) and put the cap on tightly. Fill the container in a slow and careful manner. Keep nozzle against the rim, to minimize spills and static build up.
  4. Wipe off the gas can to make sure none remains that has spilled over the side.

TRANSPORTING GASOLINE

Some notes on transporting gasoline from the fuel station to your storage space:

  • Secure containers to avoid having them fall over.
  • Keep them out of direct sunlight and heat (cover with a tarp if carried in the back of a pickup truck).
  • Don’t keep gas cans in confined quarters, as vapors may collect and create a combustible situation.

WHERE TO STORE GASOLINE

An example of a metal gas can.

An example of a metal gas can.

As stated above, gasoline is very combustible, and great care must be taken when storing it. A storage area should be all of the following:

  • Vented
  • A cool, dry place
  • A dark place, MUST be out of direct sunlight
  • NOT attached to your house or garage (this way if a fire happens, it won’t spread, and if an explosion happens you are at a safe distance).
  • Away from any potential source of sparks, including electric light bulbs.
  • Away from any fumes.
  • Away from any supplies of water. Remember that gasoline fumes can permeate some plastic bottles.
  • DO NOT bury gas drums underground. They may rust and leak out, contaminating ground water.

Possible places for gas storage. Remember that they should all remain cool inside and be a decent distance from your house. They should also be made of a non-flammable material.

  • A root cellar
  • A separate shed
  • A large dog house

ROTATING GASOLINE SUPPLIES

Even when using preservative, gas can eventually go stale, so it is a good idea to rotate your stock. Always use the older gas and replace it with a newer batch.

It’s also a good idea to call your local Fire Department to get up to speed on local ordinances and other possible hazards in the area.

 

FOR RELATED ARTICLES CHECK OUT HOW TO MAKE A VEHICLE SURVIVAL KIT AND HOW TO SIPHON GAS FROM A CAR.

Good luck and stay prepared!

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