Gas-powered lawnmowers are still the most popular type of mower for homeowners these days, but they come with one huge safety concern. The gasoline they use for fuel is a very dangerous, flammable substance and so are the fumes it produces. So to avoid accidents, it’s crucial that you know the best place to store it safely and what containers to use.
Store gasoline in a container designed specifically for the job and make sure to keep it in a secure area. This storage space should be dry, well-ventilated, and at least 50 feet away from any sources of heat or possible ignition. If possible, do not keep your supply of gas near or in any living space of your home.
In this guide, I’ll look at how to find a good place to store your gas cans including what you should look for and how to make it as safe as possible. Read on to find out what type of containers you should never use and if storing your mower with gas still in the tank is okay.
Picking The Perfect Storage Spot For Your Gasoline
The ideal location for storing gas should be cool, dry, and well-ventilated, far from any heat sources or things that may cause a spark, like a furnace pilot light, electric motors, or water heaters.
In fact, the American Petroleum Institute recommends that you should store gasoline at least 50 feet away from any potential ignition points as gas vapors can travel along the floor for some distance.
A detached garage or shed is your best bet since it keeps the gas away from your living space and minimizes the risk of fumes creeping into your home. Plus, if a fire does break out, it’s less likely to spread to your house.
Make sure the storage area is clean, organized, and clutter-free to reduce the chance of spills or accidents, and if you can, store the gas containers up off the floor to keep them out of reach of children.
It’s also an excellent idea to keep a fire extinguisher rated for Class B fires (flammable liquids) nearby in case of an emergency.
If you don’t already have a fire extinguisher, now is probably a good time to get one. Something like the First Alert HOME1 is a good entry-level option, and you can buy it on Amazon.com.
If you don’t have a detached garage or shed, consider purchasing an outdoor storage cabinet designed for flammable materials. These cabinets are made of fire-resistant materials (usually metal) and have a lock to keep curious hands out. They are a much safer option than keeping your spare gas in your garage.
Choosing The Right Gasoline Container
Once you’ve found the perfect storage space, it’s time to pick the right container for your gasoline. The most important thing is to always store gasoline in a receptacle designed specifically for fuel storage.
These containers are traditionally made of metal, but you can now find fuel cans made of a type of plastic called high-density polyethylene (HDPE). They are all designed to be leak-proof and resistant to punctures, cracks, and splitting.
Look for a gasoline can that’s certified by an approved testing laboratory, and meets safety standards like ASTM F852/F852M-22. Other markings to look for are OSHA compliance and DOT-approved stamps.
For the absolute best option, use a solid metal gasoline container that has a tight-fitting, airtight, child-resistant cap and a flame arrestor to keep the gas from igniting if it comes into contact with a flame.
Never store gasoline in glass containers, as they can shatter and cause a dangerous spill.
Gas cans for use by consumers are limited to between 1 and 5 gallons and that should be more than enough for most homeowners. Keep in mind that unless you add a fuel stabilizer, gas goes bad over time, so it’s best to store only what you’ll use within six months at most.
If you don’t already have a gas can, the Eagle UI-50-FS Red Galvanized Steel Type can be a good option. You can buy it on Amazon.
Handling And Storing Gasoline Containers Properly
Knowing how to handle and store gasoline containers is crucial for keeping things safe and accident-free.
The first thing to remember is that when filling up, do it outdoors and far from open flames, sparks, or other ignition sources.
Use a funnel or a nozzle with an automatic shut-off to avoid spills and overfilling, making sure to only fill your can up to around 95% full to give the fumes room to expand into.
Store your gasoline containers upright and tightly closed to prevent spills and evaporation. It’s also a good idea to put a tray or basin under the container to catch any potential leaks or spills.
It’s also sensible to label the container with the type of fuel inside and to keep track of where you’ve added a stabilizer to the gasoline to extend its shelf life and keep your lawnmower’s engine running smoothly.
Is It Safe To Store Your Lawnmower With Gas In The Fuel Tank?
Now, let’s address the big question: Can you store your lawnmower with gas in the fuel tank? As is often the case, the short answer is that “it depends”.
The best option is to always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as some, such as Briggs and Stratton, recommend storing your mower with a full tank of stabilized fuel as it prevents moisture from building up in the tank and fuel system. This in turn helps stop rust and corrosion from forming.
Other manufacturers may advise that you should completely drain the fuel system before storing it for any length of time.
If the guidelines for your particular model suggest it’s ok to store it with fuel in the tank, there are some precautions you should take to ensure safety.
- Make sure the fuel cap is tightly closed to prevent leaks and spills.
- Store your lawnmower in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area, like a garage or shed.
- Never store a mower with gas in the tank in a basement or integral garage.
- Always store your fuelled-up mower far away from a source of ignition.
- Check for any signs of damage or leaks in the fuel tank before storing the lawnmower.
By following these precautions, you can safely store your lawnmower with gas in the fuel tank and avoid potential hazards.
Knowing how to correctly store gasoline for your lawnmower is essential for the safety of your family and home.
By choosing the right storage location, using the proper container, and following safety guidelines, you can minimize the risk of accidents and always have fresh gas on hand when you need to top up your mower.