Generator and Fuel Storage

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when preparing your portable generator for storage. The fuel tank should be emptied by running the generator until all fuel is consumed; remember to distance your gas powered generator at least 5 feet away from your house, as a minimum.

Winds often change and therefore, the further away the better. In addition, make sure the exhaust fumes are projected away from your home. Exhaust fumes can spread and enter through any opening. Do not run generators indoors, under the eaves, near windows, doors, or in the garage. Remember to let the unit cool before putting it away.

• If you have large amounts of stored gasoline (non-oil mixed), consider using it in your vehicle rather than storing it for a long time.

Gasoline is an extremely hazardous material. Its vapors are heavier than air so they can travel away from the container. If the vapors come into contact with an ignition source, the vapors will ignite and flash back to the container. Spilled gasoline or even the escaped vapors could cause a flashback to the pilot light of any appliance. Gasoline should be stored away from any appliances that have a pilot light. This is a common issue in garage areas where gas water heaters are often located.

Another characteristic of gasoline is that it will give off ignitable vapors even if it is cooled to minus 36 degrees Fahrenheit! For this reason it is vital that it be kept only in approved containers. While there are approved plastic containers, these often have caps or seals that can get lost. The best way to safely store gasoline is in a heavy duty, self-closing approved metal gasoline safety can marked with letters UL (approved by Underwriters Laboratory). Unapproved plastics could leak, and glass containers could ignite if dropped and start a fire. Gasoline should never be stored inside your home.

• Keep gasoline out of children’s sight and reach.

• Never store gasoline in glass containers or non-reusable plastic containers such as milk jugs.

• Store only enough gasoline necessary to power equipment and let machinery cool before refueling it.

• Never use gasoline inside the home or as a cleaning agent.

• Clean up spills promptly and discard clean-up materials properly.

• Do not smoke when handling gasoline.

• Never use gasoline in place of kerosene.

• Only fill portable gasoline containers outdoors. Place the container on the ground before filling and never fill containers inside a vehicle or in the bed of a pick-up truck.