Most people don’t think too much about how to store gas, and even when we do, we may not know if we are doing it properly or safely. Spring is almost here, however, which means you’re getting ready to fire up your lawn mower, leaf blower and tractor in a bid to keep your lawn and property looking its best. Chances are you’ve got some gas left over somewhere in your shed or garage from the fall, and you might be tempted to throw that in your mower to get a head start on things. Unfortunately, if that gas wasn’t stored properly, you could end up doing more harm than good.
Check out these tips on how to store gas the safe and easy way.
Use The Right Container
Gas in liquid form is far less dangerous as a fire hazard than the fumes that it emits. Over time, small pinprick holes in your gas can — especially if it’s made of plastic, or has a finicky vent nozzle — can lead to gas vapors escaping and building up in the area you store your fuel in.
Best case scenario, the fumes make your eyes water, but worst case you could be looking at an explosion risk, especially if the storage space heats up in the sun. Always make sure you use a gas can that seals completely when considering how to store gas, and make sure not to fill it right to the brim, because you need to leave some room inside the container for the fumes to expand.
Don’t Keep Too Much Gas Around
You might not know this, but your local fire code has a few things to say about how much gas you can store indoors. Most of the time it’s restricted to about 25 gallons, total, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem because most portable fuel tanks are only 5 gallons in volume.
Another consideration sounds obvious, but bears repeating. No matter how you choose to store your gas, you need to make sure the containers are kept away from potential sparks or heat sources. This means anything from the pilot light on a furnace to hot water heaters, even electric motors that might be located nearby.
Long Term Storage Needs Stabilizer
The longer you store your gas, the higher chance it has to break down chemically. Fuel that’s been stored for more than six months is typically watery once you open the container, unless you’ve mixed in the right additives (such as STA-BIL) prior to storage. So if you plan to keep gasoline long-term, you’ll have to dose each can with STA-BIL prior to walking away for the season.
Check out all the lawn & garden products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to store gas, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.