If you have to store gasoline for an emergency generator, your lawn mower or for other purposes, it's important to follow simple safety rules. Fire codes typically restrict gas storage to no more than 25 gallons. Store the gas in containers of 5 gallons or less that have been approved for gasoline. Approved containers will include a label or wording directly on the container that says it meets specifications for portable containers for petroleum products (see close-up photo). Never store gas in unapproved or glass containers. Fill the containers no more than 95 percent full to allow for expansion. And keep the cap tight on the container.
Store the container:
- At least 50 ft. away from pilot lights and ignition sources such as the heat, sparks and flames from a water heater, space heater or furnace.
- On the floor in a place where children can't reach it.
- In a garage or shed rather than in the house, out of direct sunlight.
- On concrete, place a piece of plywood under the container.
When you buy gasoline to store for your generator, always add a fuel stabilizer right away. Stabilizers contain antioxidants and biocides to prevent compounds and microbial growth from forming on the gas.