With fuel prices currently very low, you may well have thought about taking advantage by stocking up at home. But whether it’s petrol or diesel, you need to ensure that you’re taking the necessary precautions; fuel can be dangerous, and you don’t want to let monetary savings get in the way of your own safety and that of those around you. Here’s what you should know.
Firstly, in the United Kingdom there are actually limits to the amount of petrol that you’re legally allowed to store at home, which gives an idea of how dangerous it can actually be. This is for safety purposes, and is generally for the benefits of the fire service. You’re allowed to keep 30 litres without any kind of restriction, but if you want to keep more, you’ll need to notify the Petroleum Enforcement Authority. Above 275 litres, there are a variety of additional requirements that you must meet in order to be legal. You can find out more here.
In terms of actually storing the fuel, you will need to keep it in the correct container. In a plastic one, you’re allowed to hold up to 10 litres, 20 for a metal one, and a demountable fuel tank can hold up to 30. This essentially means that you should never be storing more than 30 litres in a single vessel, as this could pose a major fire hazard. Take a look at these commercial tanks to get an idea of how robust containers should be.
Safety is generally a matter of common sense. You should be keeping it well out of your own living area, and where possible behind fire-resistant walls and doors. Vapour can be an issue too, so the area should be ventilated just in case there is actually a leak. The most obvious safety precaution is of course to keep any source of ignition well away from the fuel. One of the things stipulated by the UK fire services is that you shouldn’t ever dispense the fuel in the same place that it’s kept, but this isn’t something immediately obvious. Any spillages naturally occurring when you’re filling up your car for instance, would make a fire very dangerous as they could help ignite stored fuel.
In short, be sensible in the amounts of fuel you keep, and store them in the safest way possible and you shouldn’t have any problems.