Safely storing fuel
If you store petrol or diesel at home or in your car, you must take care. These substances are extremely flammable, and if not stored correctly could start a fire.
How much fuel can I store?
Legally, you can store up to 30 litres of petrol at home or a 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.
If you want to store larger amounts, more information can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.
There is no specific legal requirement on the amount of diesel you are allowed to store at home, but please follow the safety guidance around storing it on the government website.
Top tips to stay safe with petrol
- Don’t smoke near where your petrol is stored.
- Make sure the container is tightly sealed.
- Always decant fuel in the open air (not inside a garage or shed).
- Use a pouring spout or funnel.
- If clothing is splashed with fuel, change it immediately.
Petrol vapour can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and in confined spaces, can cause dizziness and unconsciousness. Do not swallow petrol or diesel. If it enters the lungs or stomach, it can be fatal.
Staying safe when refuelling your vehicle
Take care when filling your vehicle’s fuel tank, as spillages and leaks can be hazardous:
- Don’t overfill your tank.
- Make sure that the filler cap is securely in place and not leaking.
- Avoid filling the tank to the brim, as fuel expands and vapour can build up in hot weather.
- Avoid overfilling containers and make sure they are securely fastened during transit to stop them from falling over and leaking.
Spillages on road surfaces, particularly diesel, create slippery conditions that are a major hazard to other road users.
You might want to store gas at home if you have a gas BBQ or heater.
You should store gas cylinders for gas heaters outside and away from direct sunlight and frost. Don’t store more gas cylinders than you need.
Always store bio-ethanol in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and naked flames. We recommend storing it in garages and sheds, but make sure the fuel cannot be reached by children or pets.
What to do if there’s a fire
- Get out of the building, closing any doors behind you. If the fire starts outside of a building or vehicle, you should get away.
- Stay out of the building.
- Call 999 and ask for the fire service.
Stop, drop and roll
If your clothing catches fire, use the ‘Stop, drop and roll’ method.