How to safely store emergency gasoline at home: In graphics

With the Colonial Pipeline shutdown affecting the gas supply, many people on the East Coast and in the Southeast are hoarding gasoline, with some putting themselves in very dangerous situations.

“People are filling up at a breakneck pace,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “There’s just no way that stations can stay anywhere near caught up.”

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a message on what NOT to do. If you decide to keep gasoline at home for emergencies, these tips will help you safely store and prolong the life of your tank of gas.

Choose the right storage tank

Store the gasoline in an approved fuel can or tank. Five gallons or less is usually the best size. Don’t fill the tank completely – leave room in the container for gas to expand.

Transporting gas safely

When transporting gasoline from the gas station to home, keep the container in the trunk and keep the trunk lid ajar for good ventilation. Be sure the container can’t slide around.

Keep lid nice and tight

Once home, keep tank lid tightly sealed and use caution handling it to avoid spilling gas.

Where should you store gasoline?

Store gasoline in a detached shed or garage, at least 50 feet away from ignition sources such as pilot lights or a furnace. Store in a well-ventilated area.

Keep out of direct sunlight

Store gasoline at room temperature and keep it away from potential heat sources such as the sun, or the trunk of a car that’s in direct sun. Heating the gasoline will build pressure in the container.

You can usually store gasoline in a container for three to six months before it starts to degrade. Ethanol blends may not last as long. Fuel stabilizers can extend shelf life.

Making your gasoline last longer

Plan ahead to accomplish multiple errands in one trip and avoid high-traffic times of day whenever possible.

If you own more than one car, use the most fuel-efficient model that meets the needs of any given journey.

In hot weather, park in the shade or use a windshield sunscreen to lessen heat buildup inside the car. This reduces the need for air conditioning (and fuel) to cool the car.

Contributing Nathan Bomey and George Petras/USA TODAY

Published
8:14 pm UTC May. 14, 2021

Updated
9:55 pm UTC May. 14, 2021