Storing gasoline
June 23, 2016 2:51 PM   Subscribe

I have a house. It has a walk-in basement, it does not have a garage. I have ~3 gallons of gasoline in appropriate containers. I think it's probably unwise to put this in my basement (with a water heater, electrical stuff, etc. not to mention the whole being effectively inside my house thing). Is storing it outside in a storage tote a good solution? Why or why not?

Temperatures range from -20F to 90F throughout the year here.

Aside from having an actual out building, what's the best solution for storing this gasoline + sundry other volatile chemicals? (Not burying the lede, I'm asking generally, not planning on storing dozens of dangerous chemicals together).
posted by so fucking future to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
If in doubt, ask your local fire department what they recommend. They are usually more than happy to help you find a solution. Obviously, the safest solution is minimizing the amount you are storing. I do store gas (for mower, etc) in a 'deck box' which is basically a giant semi lockable rubbermaid type box against my house. I figure, if it were to catch on fire, it is at least outside the house and somewhere a passerby would likely see smoke/fire (and hopefully call 911). It is out of direct sun, but has some ventilation in it (its not a sealed tote), so it's not totally sealed. We face a wider temperature range here, and so far nothing awful has happened. The worst is gas just gets stale with time!
posted by Northbysomewhatcrazy at 3:09 PM on June 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

You need an appropriately labeled tamper proof container.
posted by parmanparman at 3:11 PM on June 23, 2016

Check with your home owner's insurance company too. You don't want to void your coverage by being found at fault if a fire did occur.
posted by Candleman at 3:43 PM on June 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

Gasoline goes bad fairly quickly. Why are you storing this?

No. You should not store gasoline. We use a generator for work events, we do not store gasoline in quantity or in any way that you are describing. This is in SoCal sometimes in record heat.

I think gasoline is sometimes stored in metal tanks or metal canisters for lengths of time? You should do copious research on your own if you must do this. Like I said, gasoline goes bad after a while. You could damage the engine if you use bad gas, if that's what you are doing....

In general, NO.
posted by jbenben at 3:57 PM on June 23, 2016

Gasoline goes bad but we're talking years not months. Here's what the American Petroleum Institute has to say.
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.
They suggest 50 feet away from any ignition source.
posted by jessamyn at 4:08 PM on June 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

I think the storage tote is a fine solution, but I would keep it out of direct sunlight and put a bunch of ventilation holes in it. Gasoline in sealed containers develops pressure in the heat.
posted by ssg at 4:31 PM on June 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

I think storing it, if you need to, is absolutely fine. To alleviate concerns if it going bad or somehow ruining the devices you are fueling there is an easy solution via Sta-bil. Use as directed and you are good for 2 years or so.

Use the tote/shed/distance approximation and don't set it on fire accidentally and you'll be fine.

jessamyns comment above wins for the other aspects of this question.
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:39 PM on June 23, 2016

Where do you store the device(s) that use the gasoline? To me, that is another question you should research.
posted by AugustWest at 5:13 PM on June 23, 2016

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