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19/08/2022

Petrol

The potential risks of storing petrol incorrectly are fire or serious injury.

Petrol is a highly flammable liquid, and its vapour can catch fire. Together this means that storing petrol incorrectly has the potential risk of fire or serious injury.

We would always encourage people not store petrol at home. However we do recognise that it may be needed for use in household items such as lawnmowers, hedge cutters and other garden tools. If you do need to store fuel for these purposes there are some things you need to be aware of.

Not counting what is in the tank of a car or motor vehicle, up to 30 litres of petrol can be stored at home or in a non-workplace premises, as long as it its stored in:

  • A demountable fuel tank of up to 30 litres.
  • A suitable metal container of up to 20 litres.
  • A suitable plastic container of up to 10 litres.
  • Any combination of the above.

If you wish to store more petrol than this, you are able to store up to 275 litres in suitable containers providing you follow the legal requirement to notify the local Petroleum Enforcement Authority (PEA) in writing.

The correct PEA is either the local council or their trading standards department.

Remember to take all reasonable precautions to prevent any ignition source being in an area where it could ignite petrol.

More detailed information on portable petrol storage containers is available from the Health and Safety Executive.

There is no specific legal requirement regarding how much diesel you can store at home.

What NOT To Do

  • Don’t take petrol into a flat or house.
  • Don’t smoke in an area where petrol is stored.
  • Don’t fill containers to the brim as petrol expands and vapours can build up in hot weather.
  • Don’t use a container that has previously held petrol for anything else because petrol fumes may remain within it.
  • Don’t use petrol as a barbecue or bonfire accelerant.

What TO Do

  • Do use a purpose made plastic or metal container to store petrol
  • Do store petrol containers out of the reach of children
  • Do store petrol containers out of direct sunlight
  • Do store petrol containers in a place that has a direct exit to open air
  • Do fill petrol driven items such as lawn mowers in open air
  • Do use a pouring spout or funnel when decanting petrol

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