Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, along with neighbouring Royal Berkshire and Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Services, urges people not to store petrol, even when there is a risk of a shortage, because it poses such a high fire risk.
Petrol is an extremely dangerous, highly flammable, explosive and toxic substance. There are laws governing its storage, which require that only very small quantities are kept in appropriate containers and in a well-ventilated, secure building away from your living accomodation.
For more information about storing petrol, visit the Health and Safety Executive website: www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/petroleum-faqs.htm
General storage for mowers
If there is a need to store fuel, perhaps to run powered garden machines and tools, residents should follow this guidance:
Storing fuel at home or in the workplace, unless specifically licensed, is restricted by law to either metal containers with a maximum capacity of 10 litres or approved plastic containers of a maximum five-litre capacity. These containers should be designed for the purpose and must be fitted with a screw cap or closure to prevent leakage of liquid or vapour.
Petrol and diesel fuel should be stored in no more than two 10-litre metal containers or two five-litre plastic containers. They should have clear labels identifying their contents.
Petrol filling stations operate under licence conditions, which do not allow drivers to dispense fuel into other types of container.
At home, fuel containers must not be stored in living accommodation such as kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms or under staircases. Any storage area should be well-ventilated and away from living areas in case of fire. It should also be secured to protect against the possibility of vandalism or arson.
Please follow these safety precautions:
- No smoking and no naked lights in the vicinity.
- Decant in the open air – not inside the garage.
- Use a pouring spout or funnel.
- If clothing is splashed with fuel, change it immediately.
Petroleum vapour can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and exposure to high concentrations, particularly in confined spaces, can cause dizziness and unconsciousness.
Most importantly, do not swallow petrol or diesel or attempt to use the mouth to siphon it, under any circumstances. This can result in it entering the lungs or stomach, which can be fatal.
Take care when filling up
Take care when filling your vehicle’s fuel tank or an appropriate approved container. Spillages or leaks pose a number of hazards, so do not overfill your tank and make sure that the filler cap is securely in place and not leaking.
Fuel expands and vapour can build up in hot weather, so avoid filling to the brim. Equally, approved containers should not be overfilled and should be securely fastened during transit to prevent them falling over and leaking.
Always remove containers from your vehicle before filling, as vapours can pool unseen in your vehicle and readily ignite.
Spillages on the road surface, particularly of diesel, create slippery conditions that are a major hazard to other road users, especially those on two wheels.