Storing fuel safely at home

Many people store petrol or other fuels at home, for use in lawnmowers or other appliances. If you store fuel, please do so safely as it can start a fire if not stored in the correct way. Read our fuel storage advice so you can reduce the fire risk in your home.

Fuel storing tips

Follow these tips to protect yourself and your loved ones:

  • Use containers designed for storing fuel. These tend to be metal or plastic and you can often find them for sale in petrol stations.

  • Do not overfill the container – check the markings on the side.

  • Never smoke when handling fuel.

  • Decant your fuel in an open area that is well ventilated. This can help to stop the fumes from building up.

  • If you store more than 30 litres of fuel at home, you must inform your local Petrol Enforcement Authority. Learn more on the Health and Safety Executive website (opens in a new tab).

Remember: if you have a fire, get out, stay out, and call us out via 999. Never try to put the fire out yourself.

Where to store fuel

Fuels like petrol and diesel are flammable and very corrosive. It’s very important you store them correctly to avoid spills and accidental fires.

If you wish to store fuel, follow our advice:

  • Never store fuel on your escape route. Have you thought about how you’d escape in an emergency?

  • If possible, avoid storing the containers in the same building you live in. Choose a secure outbuilding to protect it against arson.

  • Ensure you’ve got working some alarms inside your home. This is the best protection you can have to warn you if there’s a fire.

  • If storing fuel in a commercial property, always comply with the Fire Safety Order (opens in a new tab). Include the fuel as a consideration when conducting your risk assessments.

Buy fuel in small amounts

Fuels like petrol and diesel give of fumes that are very flammable. Please take extra care when handling fuels and only store them in the right containers for the job. Avoid storing any fuel containers in your living areas, such as in the lounge or in a bedroom.

We would recommend not storing fuel at home unless it’s necessary. Only buy the amount you need to avoid having a large amount stored in one place.

Learn more about fire safety

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has lots of fire safety advice that you might find useful.

Plan an escape route and make sure everyone in your household knows what to do if there’s a fire. Think about anyone who is less mobile and might struggle to escape quickly in an emergency.

We also offer helpful information about smoke alarms.