Storing petrol or diesel isn’t like storing any other kind of liquid, or indeed like storing fuel such as wood or coal. You need to make sure that it’s being kept safe and secure, and much of this comes down to the equipment that you use to do so. Let’s take a look at the things you need to think about if you’re going to go about this in the right way.
Material and Construction
Plastic tanks are the usual vessel that people use, and indeed, many people will keep one in their car for emergencies. You shouldn’t keep large amounts of fuel in one of these however – 10 litres is usually the maximum for this purpose. The more robust, the better. You want to be keeping this highly flammable liquid in something that isn’t going to break or break down easily. This includes thinking about things that might not immediately occur to you. Some plastics can actually start to degrade or melt in sunlight, so are not at all appropriate for this purpose (though you should not store fuel in direct sunlight anyway).
As with plastic containers, there isn’t actually an international standard for the construction of a metal container that is being used to store petrol, but there are guidelines when transporting it, and this is probably a good standard to keep to. As with plastic, being very robust is the key. Steel or aluminium are preferred.
Spill control is also a good idea, and you can get the right equipment from places like Commercial Fuel Solutions.
As a general rule, the smaller the capacity of the tank, the better. This is much safer in the event that the container becomes compromised and there’s a fire. The UK’s regulations state no more than 10 litres in a plastic container, and no more than 20 in a metal one. Demountable fuel tanks can hold 30 litres, but that’s the absolute limit on any container held at home.
In addition, there needs to be space within the container for the gases to expand; there should be about 15% extra capacity free, so never fill to the brim.
The final point is that you should always clearly mark these containers as being highly flammable and containing petrol. An internationally-recognised hazard symbol is essential, as this will allow anyone to understand what the tank contains.