With high gas prices lingering across the United States, many motorists want to store extra fuel when they find gas available for a low price. While saving gasoline may seem like a smart idea, experts warn storing gas improperly can have disastrous results. This guide covers tips for securely and safely handling gasoline.

As prices surge, saving gas in whatever containers you have on hand is tempting. Experts caution against this practice because improper gas storage leads to leaks, fires, injuries, and fuel spills.

This guide will discuss how to safely store fuel at your home while avoiding potential hazards.

Dangers of Unsafe Gas Storage

“You should only use tested, certified fuel containers, not household items like buckets or milk jugs,” said Dan Marshall of Scepter, a gas can manufacturer. Pouring gas into a bucket, water bottle, or similar containers is hazardous because:

  • Gasoline can leak, creating an explosive vapor risk.
  • Many plastics degrade over time when in contact with gas, leading to leaks.
  • Containers without flame arrestors can ignite from static discharge.
  • Spills create environmental and health hazards, damaging the ecosystem.

Using the wrong container also endangers your life and health when transporting and pouring fuel. A tipped plastic bucket or torn bag leads to dangerous spills. If you’re trying to save money, don’t neglect your safety by using an improper container.

Storing Gasoline Safely

Instead of using household containers to save gas, we recommend using portable gas cans designed to hold fuel. Look for:

  • Cans made in the United States and that have child safety locks
  • Cans with integrated flame-mitigation devices to prevent ignition
  • Cans that are compliant with regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prevent vapor leaks
  • Cans with a unique push-button spout for safe pouring

When storing fuel:

  • Keep fuel-saving cans in cool, ventilated areas away from ignition sources.
  • Use a tray to catch potential leaks and spills.
  • Fill cans at a gas pump but never when they’re inside a vehicle, in a trunk or truck bed.
  • Keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Quality gas cans allow safe handling. Never risk unapproved containers that endanger you and others. Follow additional gasoline storage tips for maximum safety.

Avoiding Gas Savings Scams

When gas prices rise, fraudulent “fuel saver” products often appear online and in stores, making dubious claims about improving gas mileage. But agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Trade Commission warn that these additives and devices do not work as advertised.

Steer clear of the following types of gas-saving scams:

  • Fuel line magnets or vapor-increasing pills
  • Unverified aftermarket intake and exhaust devices
  • Hydrogen kits making unrealistic better gas mileage claims
  • Fuel stabilizers marketed as efficiency boosters
Today’s Homeowner Tips

Your best bet for fuel savings is through proper auto maintenance, moderate driving habits, and using the recommended octane grade for your vehicle. Avoid fuel-saving gadgets and consider a portable generator as a backup during outages.

FAQs About Gas Storage Safety

Why Shouldn't You Use Common Containers for Gasoline?

Household items like milk jugs and water bottles do not hold and transport fuel safely.

What Safety Features Should a Portable Gas Can Have?

Seek cans with childproofing, flame arrestors, leak-proof construction, and a unique pouring spout.

How Much Gas Should You Store at One Time?

Most experts advise keeping five to 10 gallons on hand for emergencies based on vehicle needs. Follow all local laws and restrictions.

Where Is the Safest Place to Store Gas Cans?

The safest place to store gas cans is in an outdoor shed or detached garage away from heat, flame sources, and living areas.  Do not store fuel-saving containers inside a residence.

Follow gas safety guidelines when storing extra fuel during shortages. Invest in quality portable gas cans designed specifically for safe fuel handling. Consider fuel container options that make transporting gasoline safer.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Laurie Engle

Laurie Engle

Expert Writer & Reviewer

Laurie Engle is a freelance writer who provides insights to homeowners on topics such as the home warranty industry, relocation issues, and real estate trends. As a licensed Realtor since 2001 Laurie has acquired extensive expertise in dealing with home warranty companies and navigating the intricacies of the real estate market. In addition to her commitment to helping clients with their home buying and selling needs, she maintains a sharp awareness of market dynamics, including property values, interest rates, and local regulations.

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Sabrina Lopez


Sabrina Lopez is a senior editor for Today’s Homeowner with over 7 years of writing and editing experience in digital media. She has reviewed content across categories that matter to homeowners, including HVAC services, home renovations, lawn and garden care, products for the home, and insurance services. When she’s not reviewing articles to make sure they are helpful, accessible, and engaging for homeowners like herself, Sabrina enjoys spending time with her family and their two parrots.

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