We provide emergency preparedness training to a wide range of people. “Where is the safest place to keep gasoline (or diesel, kerosene, Coleman fuel, butane, propane, or alcohol) for an emergency?” is one of the most often requested questions. The answer is… it is debatable. The answer varies depending on the type of fuel used and where you live.
You have a lot more possibilities if you live on a 10-acre farm than if you live in a one-bedroom apartment. The issue is that gasoline is essential for everyone’s survival. You’ll need it to boil water, cook your food, maintain communications, and avoid dying from frostbite. Let’s take each of these sources of energy one by one.
When it comes to carefully storing fuel, don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Make sure you do your own research to make sure your knowledge is correct. Improper fuel storage could lead to poor fuel performance at best, and death and property loss at worst. Don’t take a chance!
Safety Data Sheets Provide Accurate Information
Studying the Safety Data Sheet for each fuel is one of the greatest ways to find correct information on it. This is the most up-to-date information available, as it comes directly from the manufacturer. For each of the fuels we discuss, I’ve included a link to an SDS sheet.
A detached shed is the safest place to store gasoline in general. Let’s look at the exact storage needs and circumstances for each of these fuels, as well as some potential storage places.
Best Way to Store Gasoline
The safest location to keep fuel is in your car’s tank. We recommend that you keep your tank at least halfway full at all times. One-half tank of gasoline should be enough to get you out of immediate danger if you need to flee.
Gasoline is a hazardous fuel to keep on hand. It should be kept in an appropriate red container in a cold, well-ventilated environment. Unapproved containers may disintegrate, releasing volatile gasoline liquid and fumes. It is critical to utilize only certified gasoline canisters. Make sure the containers are securely closed and labeled.
Our prepper friend allowed us to look into his fuel storage system and has given us permission to share it with you as long as we don’t expose his name or location. It’s simple to accomplish. Let’s refer to him as Bob.
Bob wishes to stockpile enough gasoline to be able to flee to a location 800 miles away in the event of a disaster. He has a gasoline generator that must be capable of running for at least 48 hours. His goal is to always keep 50 gallons of gasoline on hand.
Bob is well aware that storing this much gasoline in his garage or anyplace near his house is exceedingly hazardous. He makes the conscious decision not to do stupid things. When gasoline is not exposed to extremes of temperature, it stores well. He found a secondhand chest freezer and buried it in a shady spot distant from his house to solve his gasoline storage problem.
The next issue that needed to be solved was ventilation. To enable cross ventilation through the freezer, he drilled two holes to fit 2-inch vent pipes (lower front on one end and upper back on the other). To keep the vents dry and prevent vermin from getting in, they are screened and elbowed down.
The gas cans are kept off the freezer floor on custom pallets, which allows for better ventilation. The gasoline is kept in certified 5-gallon gas cans in an underground freezer. To assist insulate the contents from temperature variations and provide some operational security, the freezer is maintained covered.
An above-ground gasoline storage tank is a safe choice for storing bigger amounts of gasoline. These tanks are used to refill equipment on-site in farming and commercial operations. If this alternative appeals to you, look into the rules and laws in your area.
To preserve quality, gasoline should be rotated or stabilized every 9-12 months. To extend the life of the gasoline for several years, a good fuel stabilizer should be used at least once a year. Gasoline accounts for a significant portion of the energy we consume in our daily lives. For many people, storing a fair supply of gasoline makes sense.
Best Way to Store Diesel
Many of the same storage requirements apply to diesel as they do to unleaded gasoline. It’s a flammable liquid, so keep it away from open flames, heat, ignition sources, and direct sunlight. Static discharge protection is required. Diesel can build up a static charge, which can generate a spark and serve as an ignition source.
Diesel must be kept in a cool environment. The pressure in sealed containers rises when diesel is stored in a heated atmosphere. Make sure you only keep it in certified containers, the majority of which are yellow. Close the container tightly and store it in a well-ventilated area.
When used for construction or farming, diesel is usually stored in above-ground tanks. When storing in lesser quantities, keep it in the same places you’d keep gasoline, but make sure it’s in containers that are certified for diesel fuel.
Best Way to Store Kerosene
K-1, K-2, and Klean Heat kerosene are available for purchase. Some kinds can be purchased in containers or poured similarly to gasoline.
Kerosene should be kept in a cool, well-ventilated area when not in use. It should be kept in its original containers or in blue, vented containers that have been certified. Store away from strong oxidizers. It is less fickle when it comes to storage than gasoline and diesel.
Best Way to Store Coleman Fuel or White Gas
Coleman fuel should be stored similarly to unleaded gasoline, with the exception that it should be kept in the original bottle. Keep the original containers away from heat, sparks, open flames, and oxidizing materials in a cool, well-ventilated environment.
Best Way to Store Butane Cartridges
Preppers often use butane cartridges as a source of fuel. Compressed fuel in a can could be hazardous to keep in big quantities. Over time, the can will degrade and the butane may escape. We recommend keeping the amount of canisters you have on hand to a minimum and rotating them.
The can must be kept cool and not exposed to temperatures more than 50°C/122°F. Heat, sparks, an open flame, oxidizers, and direct sunshine should all be avoided. It’s best to keep the container in a well-ventilated environment. Because butane is heavier than air, it should never be kept in basements, cellars, or other low-lying areas where vapors can collect. Do not keep in automobiles or other similar settings where excessive heat could result in an explosion.
Following one of our seminars, a woman contacted us and revealed that she had a large number of these canisters sealed in 5-gallon buckets in her garage. According to the manufacturer’s safety guidelines in the Safety Data Sheet, this strategy has two major flaws.
- The butane canisters are not well ventilated in sealed 5-gallon buckets.
- The temperature in most garages may fluctuate significantly, and it may go dangerously close to 50°C/122°F.
Butane canisters are similar to little bombs that are waiting for the ideal conditions to detonate. I’d keep the amount of canisters I store to no more than 8-12 and keep them in my pantry where the temperature can be controlled. While not ideal, a limited number of people in this regulated area would not make me feel uneasy.
Remember that butane canisters are not suitable for storage in basements, therefore don’t keep them in a basement food storage room.
I fell in love with our little butane stove during our 90-day Grid Down Cooking Challenge. You can learn more about these useful stoves by visiting Butane Stove: Cooking for Power Outages in a Portable and Convenient Way
Best Way to Store Propane
One of my favorite fuels for emergency preparedness is propane. We make a concerted effort to keep all of our gas tanks topped off. Propane tanks are much safer to store than liquid fuels, which is a big plus.
One-pound disposable propane containers are convenient for emergency situations, but they are not as safe to store for longer periods of time as bigger propane tanks. I would not recommend storing big quantities of disposable propane bottles. The container’s seal may deteriorate with time, allowing propane to escape into the atmosphere.
Leaks in these containers should be examined on a regular basis. Propane, like butane, will not evaporate but will concentrate in a low-lying location, posing an explosive threat.
Propane should be kept away from flames, sparks, heat, strong oxidizers, and extreme temperatures in a well-ventilated environment. When chlorine dioxide is present near propane, it can cause an explosion. Only store in approved containers, and keep the valve closed. Explosive vapors may be present in empty propane containers. Whether your propane containers are full or empty, be careful where you keep them.
Our 20-pound propane tanks are kept in a popup tent trailer away from our house. This keeps them out of the sun and protects them from the elements. Not the best option, but we’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got.
One of our students proposed keeping the 20-pound propane bottles in a 150-gallon deck box, which is commonly used for garden equipment storage. The deck box should be kept out of direct sunlight in a shaded location. Cross ventilation would be required in the deck box (large holes drilled on both sides of the box). It may be a terrific method to keep 20-pound gas bottles out of the house and protected from the elements.
Propane, rather than gasoline or diesel fuel, is a superior alternative for garage storage. However, keeping huge volumes of fuel in a garage should always be avoided.
Best Way to Store Alcohol
Because it is not explosive like many other fuels, alcohol is an excellent storing fuel. Simple storage precautions are recommended. Keep the container well covered and away from sparks, open flames, and strong oxidizing agents. It’s best to keep alcohol in its original container.
The shelf life of alcohol is limitless. In our basement storage area with our food storage, we keep a reasonable amount of Everclear, SafeHeat, and denatured alcohol. That way, it’ll be ready to use whenever we need it. Only alcohol is a fuel I’d feel safe storing in my basement alongside food. When utilized as a prepper fuel, the fact that it never goes bad is a huge plus. Always keep the amount of fuel you store indoors or in your garage, including alcohol, to a minimum.
Unless you reside in a climate with extreme temperature variations, you may be able to securely keep denatured alcohol in your garage, according to the Safety Data Sheet. Storage requirements for alcohol are far more flexible than those for other fuels.
Because it creates very little, if any, carbon monoxide when burned, alcohol is an excellent choice for cooking and heating indoors. Learn more about alcohol as a fuel source in our piece, Best Alcohol Cooking Fuels for Campers and Preppers.
Best Storage Locations for Fuels
Any fuel should be stored in a detached, insulated shed that is sheltered from direct sunlight and temperature extremes on both ends. Stability of temperature is ideal. Never store gasoline in a structure you can’t afford to lose if it burns down.
Fuel is essential for survival, yet most of us must make do with what we have because we do not live in an optimum climate for fuel storage. When storing fuel, safety must be a major priority. If you store fuel incorrectly, your homeowner’s insurance policy may be voided if you have a fire. Check with your insurance agent to be sure you’re adhering to your policy’s restrictions.
In the event of a fire, a flammable storage cabinet is an excellent way to store fuel and keep it confined. The storage cabinets have self-closing hinges and are ventilated. These metal cabinets are costly, but they allow you to properly store fuels in your garage. To avoid static build-up, it’s critical to ground storage cabinets.
Always store fuel in containers intended particularly for that fuel and follow all storage recommendations on the Safety Data Sheet from the manufacturer.
Legal Restrictions and Common-Sense Practices
We highly advise you to observe all applicable legal standards and use common sense when storing your fuel. Depending on where you live, there will be different legal restrictions on gasoline storage. Your local fire department will be the finest source of factual information for your area. Our post Safe Emergency Fuel Storage Guidelines contains an example of legal guidelines.
Fuels are hazardous and must be treated with caution. Always keep in mind the people who may be affected by the fuels you store. Make them the most important thing in your life.
How Much Fuel Do I Need to Store for Emergencies?
How much fuel do you need to keep on hand in case of an emergency? That is debatable. What are you getting ready for? How long do you think you’ll be without access to public services?
The photo depicts a large backup generator for a local public utility, complete with diesel fuel tanks. In most cases, you won’t require something that outstanding to meet your demands in an emergency. If money isn’t an issue, you may put in fantastic backup solutions for your home. The majority of us are just concerned with stockpiling enough fuel to last till things return to normal.
Check out this Action Plan – Fuel Safety and Storage to get you started calculating how much food, water, and other supplies your family will require to get through a catastrophe. Spending a little effort and money now could go a long way toward ensuring that you have the fuel you need to cook your food and remain warm if you lose power or natural gas.
Water, food, air, and fuel are the four essential necessities for survival. This puts fuel at the top of the priority list. Storing fuels is far riskier than storing grains or water. Make sure you set up some extra time.
in learning about the fuels you keep on hand and the best procedures for keeping them securely. For more information on a variety of fuels, check see our post How to Safely Store Fuel for Emergencies.
Where do you store butane gas canisters?
Your initial impression would be that your basement or cellar would be a fantastic place to store your gas now that you know it needs to be kept cool; however, there are a few things to consider before you start storing your gas underground.
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever Because if there is a leak and no ventilation, the gas will collect at the floor level and slowly build up in the room. Small children and pets can die as a result of this since they won’t be able to breathe correctly, resulting in a quick death.
This is less of a concern if the basement is sufficiently ventilated. The leak will be vented out and your air will be kept clean and safe in a well-ventilated area. If you keep your gas canisters upright, you’ll be less likely to have a leak, and it’s ideal to keep them away from building entrances, exits, and drains.
Can you store butane indoors?
Butane should always be kept indoors. If applicable, it should be locked up and kept out of reach of small children and pets. Butane canisters can be stored in large drawers, cupboards, garages, closets, and utility storerooms due to their reduced size. Because butane cannot be stored in direct sunlight for long periods of time, the storage room should be dark and well shielded from the sun’s rays. Furthermore, the storage place should not be near an electrical outlet, a hot bulb, a stove, a toaster, or any other source of heat. Butane should never be kept in an automobile.
How do you store butane safely?
Butane cartridges are normally safe to store, but any time you’re dealing with compressed fuel in a can, you must exercise caution. This is especially true if you’re storing significant quantities of solvents. Cans can disintegrate, releasing solvents into the atmosphere.
- Canisters should be kept in a cool, dry place where the temperature does not exceed 122°F (50°C). Excessive heat can cause an explosion.
- Avoid storing canisters in low-level areas like basements and keep them in a well-ventilated space.
Sealable solvent cans can be safely stored in garages, storerooms, and large drawers, among other places. Simply ensure that the setting is indoors, cool, dry, and away from any sources of heat.
Can butane canisters explode?
Butane gas canisters are a fantastic way to fuel a stove or heating equipment while camping because they are inexpensive, easy to use, and lightweight. Gas canisters can build up pressure and explode if handled or stored incorrectly.
How do you store butane stove?
Gas stoves and gas canisters are two of the 33 types of Controlled Goods that need to be registered with the authority and display the SAFETY Mark.
- Ensure that the SAFETY Mark is visible on both the portable butane gas stove and the canister. The SAFETY Mark signifies that the product model has been tested to specified requirements and includes a unique certification number that can be traced back to the manufacturer.
- Larger pans can focus heat back towards the gas canister, causing it to overheat and explode, therefore don’t use them.
- Remove the gas canister from the stove after each use. Close the canister’s valve and put it somewhere cool and away from any flames. Even if the canister is empty, do this.
- Do not mess with the stove or try to fix a broken stove on your own. If the portable butane gas stove isn’t working or igniting properly, turn it off.
- When using a stove, never leave it unattended or place combustible materials near it.
- Put out all flames and switch off the stove, gas valves, and regulators if you suspect a gas leak. Call your authorized dealer right away to report the leak.
How long can you store butane canisters?
Sealable butane canisters, in general, do not go bad; in fact, experts agree that they can last up to ten years, perhaps even longer. Butane canisters that have been opened but have not been used for a while are still flammable and will operate in your camping stove, although the quality of the gas may diminish over time.
Butane and the body
Butane is a central nervous system depressant that affects physical performance by slowing down brain activity.
as well as mental responses When butane fumes are inhaled, they quickly pass through the lungs and into the bloodstream.
bloodstream. Because the compounds are soluble in body fat and move quickly to the brain and organs, they have a short half-life.
immediately have an effect Despite the fact that the first high only lasts a few minutes, the consequences can last for hours.
Because it’s difficult to know how much butane a user is taking, the effects can vary.
individuals. Users report the early effects as a ‘drunk-like drunkenness’ and a ‘high’.
Psychological dependence is more common than physical dependence. Physical withdrawal, on the other hand, has been documented.
among some of the users Butane tolerance can develop quickly, necessitating the use of more of the chemical.
to achieve the same result Butane addiction and withdrawal symptoms are possible in long-term users.
If they don’t utilize it on a regular basis, it can cause a hangover. Withdrawal symptoms can last for several days.
Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome
Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome (SSDS) is a heart disease characterized by ‘cardiac arrhythmia.’
When the heart begins to beat erratically. SSDS is to blame for the majority of butane-related deaths. If the individual
After breathing butane, if the person becomes agitated, frightened, or engages in any abrupt physical action, the heart may stop beating.
Individuals who use butane should receive the same support as those who use stimulants. Motivational Interviewing is a technique used to help people achieve their goals.
Solution-oriented This group responds well to brief therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Psychosocial
Key workers or counsellors should provide assistance. Butane users often do well in stimulating situations.
Harm reduction information
It’s best not to inhale butane, but if you must, keep the following in mind:
- Sleeping with a canister against your nose or a blanket over your head is not a good idea.
- Place a piece of gauze on top of the nozzle to guarantee that the liquefied gas hits the fabric rather than the back of the throat if the can is titled.
What should you do in an emergency if someone is unconscious?
- Make sure the immediate area around the person is free of dangerous materials, such as volatile liquids.
- Check for breathing and see whether the person responds to light shaking or loud speech.
- If the person is still breathing, place them in the recovery position and elevate their chin to keep their airway open.
When stored unopened in the original container, alcohol is an excellent storing fuel with an endless shelf life. It will lose its power once opened due to the rapid evaporation of the alcohol.
Alcohol Stoves – Safe to Use Indoors or Outdoors and Best Alcohol Cooking Fuels for Campers and Preppers both have more information on alcohol as a fuel source.
Butane gas has an almost limitless shelf life. The cartridges, on the other hand, may rust and the valve seal may weaken over time. A leaking butane cartridge has the potential to be dangerous.
One butane canister’s manufacturer only suggests an 8-year shelf life if stored in a cold, dry environment.
Read our post, Butane Stove: Portable and Convenient Power Outage Cooking, to learn more about cooking with butane.
If kept dry, your reliable backyard barbeque charcoal briquettes will last almost indefinitely. Over time, charcoal may absorb moisture, rendering it unusable. Simply spread the charcoal out in a single layer on a hot, sunny day and let it to dry. Place the charcoal in a moisture-proof container and repackage it.
The shelf life of firewood is unlimited. When you burn something, the energy production gradually decreases over time. Dry, seasoned firewood is a very safe storage fuel and one of my preferred emergency preparedness solutions.
All About Firewood: Great Fuel for Heating Without Electricity teaches you everything you need to know about harvesting, storing, and burning firewood.
Feed tablets can be used to ignite a fire or to fuel a small cooking fire. Most gasoline pills have an infinite shelf life and can be stored for many years in their original packaging.
The shelf life of natural gas is unlimited. It is not, however, an excellent solution for household storage. Natural gas does not lend itself to being stored in a residential tank due to its qualities. As long as it is available, it may be a viable solution for some power outages. Consider it a safety net, and plan to use natural gas whenever possible.
Propane is indestructible. It has a limitless shelf life and will not decay due to natural processes. Only the container limits the shelf life of propane. Any propane expiration date refers to the date of the gas cylinder inspection, not the propane itself.
Propane tanks made of high-quality galvanized steel can survive for 30 years or more. To extend the life of your items, store them properly to avoid exterior rust. Rust does not affect aluminum or composite cylinders. Only use top-of-the-line valves and fittings.