Monthly Safety Article November 2021
Safe Storage and Disposal of Gasoline
Gasoline is an important part of our everyday lives. It lets us run our cars and trucks, getting the kids to
school and the groceries home. It helps us keep our grass and gardens looking good, powering mowers
and lawn care equipment. It lets us get away on vacation, running boats, off-road vehicles, and
But gasoline can be dangerous if not handled or stored properly. Gasoline should only be used for its
intended purpose – as a motor fuel – and stored only when absolutely necessary. It should not be used as
a solvent, cleaner, barbecue starter or for any other non-engine use.
Take The Following Precautions:
• Your local and state governments are the first places you should check for standards and
regulations on gasoline storage. For example, fire codes and regulations restrict the amount of
gasoline an individual homeowner can store (usually no more than 25 gallons), in approved
containers of less than five gallons capacity each.
• Gasoline must be stored in an approved container or tank. Keep gasoline containers tightly
closed and handle them gently to avoid spills.
• Gasoline is a flammable liquid and should be stored at room temperature, away from potential
heat sources such as the sun, a hot water heater, space heater or a furnace, and a least 50 feet
away from ignition sources, such as pilot lights. Gasoline vapors are heavier than air and can
travel along the floor to ignition sources. Do not smoke where gasoline is handled or stored.
• Put gasoline in a small engine (like a lawnmower) only when the engine and attachments are
• Store gasoline in a building separate from the house or place of occupancy, such as a shed or
garage. Always keep gasoline out of reach from children.
• For better ventilation, it is best to handle gasoline outdoors.
• Do not mix even a small amount of gasoline with kerosene or diesel. Do not use gasoline in
kerosene heaters or lamps.
• Minor spills should be absorbed with sawdust, paper or rags. Larger spills may be contained and
collected. Check with your local government or hazardous waste disposal center to determine
the proper avenues for disposing of spilled gasoline. Place recovered gasoline and cleanup
materials in approved, labeled containers for proper disposal. Never dispose of spilled gasoline
or cleaning materials on the ground or into your garbage, drains, toilets or sewers. If you do, it
might cause a fire, or seep into streams, bays, lakes or your groundwater.
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