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Commercial Services



Advice on storing fuel

Storing petrol or other fuels in a car, workplace or more importantly at home presents a potential hazard. Read our advice on how to reduce the risks associated with storing fuel.

Petrol and other fuels give off vapour which are extremely flammable and you must treat them with the utmost care.

The Law

You can store up to 30 litres of petrol at home or at non-workplace premises without informing your local Petroleum Enforcement Authority (PEA).

You can store it in:

  • suitable portable metal or plastic containers
  • one demountable fuel tank
  • a combination of the above as long as no more than 30 litres is kept


For these purposes 'premises' are as defined in the Health and Safety Work Act, etc. 1974 and includes, for example, motor vehicles, boats and aircraft.

For further information please visit the Health and Safety Executive website

Does the petrol in the fuel tank of my car count towards the total I can store?

No. The petrol in the fuel tank of your vehicle, including boats and aircraft, does not count when you are calculating the total amount you are storing.

Health and safety precautions

  • No smoking and no naked lights in the vicinity
  • Decant fuel in the open air - not inside a garage or shed
  • Use a pouring spout or funnel; and
  • If clothing is splashed with fuel, change it immediately.

Petroleum vapour can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and exposure to high concentrations, particularly in confined spaces, can cause dizziness and unconsciousness. Most importantly, do not swallow petrol or diesel or attempt to use the mouth to siphon it, under any circumstances. This can result in it entering the lungs or stomach, which can be fatal.

Filling up

  • Take care when filling your vehicle's fuel tank or appropriate approved container. Spillages or leaks are hazardous, so do not overfill your tank and make sure that the filler cap is securely in place and not leaking.
  • Fuel expands and vapour can build up in hot weather, so avoid filling to the brim.
  • Approved containers should not be overfilled and should be securely fastened during transit to prevent them falling over and leaking.

Spillages on the road surface, particularly of diesel, create slippery conditions that are a major hazard to other road users especially those on two wheels.


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