People usually stock up on fuel to prepare for emergencies so they can maintain their regular lifestyles in case of power cuts. They use fuel in a variety of ways, including cooking, maintaining warmth and powering different types of equipment and appliances. However, this important item may also cause emergencies if it is not stored properly.
Challenges of Bulk Fuel Storage
Storing fuel in bulk presents problems in three main areas: safety, security and legality. According to most urban fire regulations, people are not allowed to store more than one small container of Coleman fuel or kerosene, neither are they allowed to keep more propane than they can use in a week.
Propane may be the best fuel to store considering detectable odor and safety issues. Ensure you do not exceed the maximum allowable limit depending on your apartment lease agreement and local fire code.
As much as it is important to be prepared for disasters, always consider safety first. Poor handling of fuel can result in serious injuries.
If you live in a duplex or an apartment, you may be prohibited from keeping any kind of fuel. It is also illegal to store some types of fuels above ground in large quantities, and you are only allowed to store them in pressurized fuel tanks.
Local fuel dealers can help you know the necessary regulatory issues and EPA requirements for using fuel tanks on your property.
The following guidelines will help you maximize safety when you store fuel.
- Use the right fuel tank or container for storing fuel.
- Check the fuel tank regularly to determine any signs of danger, such as leakage.
- Do not store your fuel close to buildings, other appliances or ammunition.
- Keep the fuel dry.
- Keep the fuel away from high temperatures or sunlight to ensure it always remains cool.
- Store the fuel downwind from all buildings.
- Keep a fire extinguisher where you can access it easily.
- Rotate the supply of fuel regularly.
The Importance of Stabilization
Some types of fuel can go bad if they are not mixed with appropriate stabilizers. The most popular stabilizers in the market are Pri-D (Pri-G) and Sta-bil, which are available online.
According to many “preppers”, Sta-bil is ideal for storing fuel for a short period while Pri-D is recommended for long-term storage. Pri products may also be used to store kerosene fuels.
Use Recommended Storage Containers
If you want to store fuel for emergencies, then the container you use must prevent any signs of fuel phase separation or evaporation. Many current fuel tanks are made of plastic although some people prefer metal tanks to avoid possible seepage.
The container you choose must be made of the durable HDPE and have an airtight seal that minimizes spills. The container should also have:
- Barrier materials for eliminating hydrocarbon emissions.
- A suitable pour spout for controlling variable flow.
- Automatic locking and venting upon the release of the lever.
If you use a metal container, you can make it last longer by coating it with auto grade silicone.
Whether you want to store fuel in the short or long term, these safety guidelines will help you get the best results.