In today’s world, it’s very easy to take petrol for granted. Every single aspect of our life is powered by some sort of energy, so it’s wise for us to stop and think: What happens when that source of energy is cut?
Sure, when we think about buying spare petrol cans, sudden evacuations and catastrophes pop to mind.
But petrol cans can be a lifesaver in many situations. Perhaps your car runs out of gas in the middle of a desert. Or maybe you need to start a generator right away, perhaps for medically urgent reasons.
Here’s everything you need to know about buying gasoline in a container:
Is it possible to buy gasoline in a container?
The short answer is: Yes! It is possible to buy gasoline in a container. But there are a few critical facts to bear in mind:
Not All Gas Stations Offer It
Buying petrol in containers is not always an available option. Certain countries and locales may impose regulations on how much you can buy at a time, and whether it is legal to do so in the first place.
On top of this, its availability may vary from gas station to gas station. Often, the only way to find out is to ask in person, as this isn’t exactly a widely advertised service.
Be Prepared Beforehand
Because buying petrol in a jerry can is not always an available option, it’s best to be prepared and buy it before you really need it.
When that car engine starts sputtering in the middle of a long drive, it’s too late! The closest gas station can be hours away by foot, and you might find that particular gas station does not offer petrol in a container.
That’s why it’s always wise to stock up in advance if you know petrol supply is critical. This is especially true if you have important appliances or devices at home that rely on gasoline for it’s function.
Most preparedness experts advise that you should keep a small rotation of petrol in your garage, anywhere between 5 gallons to 20 gallons.
What kind of container can I use to store gasoline?
When it comes to storing and keeping gasoline, the container you use is critical for safety. If kept incorrectly, your home could be destroyed by a fire or explosion.
The truth is, gasoline is a powerful and potentially dangerous combustible material. One cup of gasoline vapor alone has the explosive force of one pound of TNT, or 5 pounds of dynamite!
That’s enough explosive power to destroy any house or car.
It goes without saying then that there are many problems that come with long-term storage of gasoline at home.
The ideal container for gasoline is something that is shelf stable, won’t break down over time, and keeps the petrol tightly sealed in.
When we think about storing petrol, we often visualize the jerry can, and for good reason too. It’s a widely used option, but certain plastics can become brittle with age, and some cheaply made ones may melt and react badly with petrol over time…
As the temperature changes, petrol also expands and contracts over time, so we need a container that can withstand this fluctuation in pressure.
All these considerations may make storing petrol a dauting task at first. But you’ll be pleased to know that in most countries, the jerry cans offered by gas stations are regulated and fulfill all these safety requirements.
In the US, for example, always look for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) stamp on the container.
That being said, if you’re looking for a long-term storage solution, it might be worth investing in brand-new metal cans for this purpose. You might also want to consider a fuel drum or even a commercial-grade tank for larger long-term storage.
In any case, fill the petrol directly into the container you will be storing it in, and avoid filling all the way to the brim to allow for the petrol to expand.
Is it possible to keep a gas can in your home?
When it comes to keeping your filled gas cans, take extra care when choosing a spot for long-term storage.
First off, never keep it inside of the house. Instead, choose a spot that is cool, away from heat sources (like engines and the sun), and ideally downwind from your home.
Some jerry cans and petrol containers have a safety feature that will slowly let out fuel vapor at very high temperatures, so as to prevent a buildup of pressure inside the container and an eventual explosion. But this also means a potential for gasoline fumes to build up in the room if it does get too hot. These fumes are both toxic and highly flammable.
At home, the best place for gasoline cans would be a detached structure, such as a garage or shed, that stays relatively cool year round. Never store it in the home itself.
On top of this, make sure to keep it away from any source of electricity, as well as appliances such as water heaters and power tools, as even a small spark can set off a big explosion. It also goes without saying that pets and children should be kept away.
Not everyone has the luxury of having a detached shed to store their gasoline canisters in. In these cases, an attached garage or even a shaded outdoor area may be used too, provided it is sheltered from extreme weather conditions and all of the above safety measures are abided to.
In any case, the containers should be carefully inspected at least once a month for possible leaks.
Is it allowed to drive about with gasoline in your car?
Storing petrol cans at home is a big task, but keeping petrol cans in your car is a whole challenge in itself.
First off, be sure to check your local regulations on this. Some states and countries forbid this practice, while others may place a limit on how much you can keep in your vehicle.
In any case, never store the petrol canisters in the passenger cabins, or even in the interior of your vehicle. And never, EVER store it right next to your engine!
Instead, the best place to secure the canisters is on the exterior of the vehicle. If you have a truck or an SUV, keep the canisters on the back of your vehicle.
It also goes without saying that the tops of the containers should be properly fastened during transmission to prevent leakage.
Is it possible to fill up a gas can at a gas station?
Yes, filling up a jerry can or a petrol can is entirely lawful as long as certain requirements are met. Metal containers with a capacity of up to 20 litres and plastic cans with a capacity of up to 10 litres are allowed under the restrictions.
What is the shelf life of gasoline in a can?
How long does a tank of gas last? This is determined by a number of factors, including the type of fuel used and how and where it is kept. The condition of stored fuel is affected by heat, oxygen, and humidity.
If stored in a sealed and labeled metal or plastic container, pure gas will decay and lose its combustibility in three to six months due to oxidation and evaporation. Blends of ethanol and gasoline have a shelf life of two to three months. Under ideal conditions, fuel stabilized gasoline can last between one and three years. In just over a month, gas stored in an automobile tank begins to degrade.