Storing petrol safely

Petrol is a dangerous substance; it is a highly flammable liquid and can give off vapour which can easily be set on fire and when not handled safely has the potential to cause a serious fire and/or explosion.
This means there is always a risk of a fire and/or an explosion if there is a source of ignition nearby, for example a naked flame, an electrical spark or similar. Because of these risks storing petrol safely is covered by legislation.

What is the law on storing petrol safely?
The Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 (PCR) came into force on 1st October 2014 and apply to:

  • workplaces that store petrol where petrol is dispensed, ie retailand non retail petrol filling stations
  • non-workplace premises storing petrol, for example at private homes, or at clubs/associations (or similar)

How much petrol can I store at my private home?
You can store up to 30 litres of petrol at home or at non-workplace premises* without informing your local Petroleum Enforcement Authority (PEA).

You can store it in:

  • suitable portable metal or plastic containers
  • one demountable fuel tank
  • a combination of the above as long as no more than 30 litres is kept

The petrol in the fuel tank of your vehicle, does not count when you are calculating the total amount of petrol you are storing.

What do I need to do if I want to store larger amounts of petrol at my home or premises?
If you wish to store more than 30 litres of petrol and up to a maximum of 275 litres of petrol at your home or premises, you need to contact your local Petroleum Enforcement Authority and ensure you adhere to the strict legal and safety requirements.

*For these purposes ‘premises’ are as defined in the Health and Safety Work Act, etc. 1974 and includes, for example, motor vehicles, boats and aircraft.
Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence. 03/07/2015

For more information, please visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/petroleum.htm

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