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how to store fuel for generators safely

BISON delves into the intricacies of safe fuel storage for generators. We will guide you through the do’s and don’ts, the potential hazards

Table of Contents

In the realm of generator operation, fuel storage plays a pivotal role. It’s more than a simple task of filling up a container; it’s an exercise in ensuring safety and efficiency. When handled haphazardly, improper fuel storage can lead to dangerous situations, including fires, explosions, and harmful emissions. This is why understanding the proper methods of storing fuel for generator use is not just important, but essential.

Today, BISON delves into the intricacies of safe fuel storage for generators. We will guide you through the do’s and don’ts, the potential hazards, and the best practices to keep you, your generator, and your environment safe. So, buckle up and let’s embark on this enlightening journey of fuel storage safety.

how to store fuel for generators safely

choosing the right fuel storage containers

Choosing the right fuel storage container is an integral part of ensuring safe and effective fuel storage. The type of container you select can have a significant impact on the safety, longevity, and usability of your stored fuel. Here are some critical factors to consider:


The first thing to consider when selecting a fuel storage container is the material it’s made from. For safety purposes, only use containers that are approved for fuel storage. These are typically made from metal or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic. Both materials have their advantages:

  • Metal Containers are robust, durable, and less likely to degrade over time. They are also highly resistant to punctures and breakage. However, they can be heavy and may rust if not properly maintained.

  • HDPE Plastic Containers are lighter and more portable than their metal counterparts. They are also resistant to rust and corrosion. However, they may be less resilient to extreme temperatures and physical damage.


Next, consider the size of the container. This will largely depend on your specific needs and local regulations. Smaller containers (5-10 gallons) are easier to handle and ideal for short-term storage or small generators. Larger containers (30-50 gallons or more) may be necessary for larger generators or longer-term storage. 


Lastly, each container should be clearly labeled with the type of fuel it contains and the date it was stored. This is essential for safety reasons and to keep track of fuel freshness. Different fuels have different shelf lives, and using old or incompatible fuel can damage your generator or cause safety hazards.

choosing the right fuel storage containers

correct fuel storage location

The location of your fuel storage is just as critical as the container itself. It affects not just the safety and security of your stored fuel, but also its longevity. Here are some professional tips to help you select the optimal location for your fuel storage:

Temperature Control

Fuel should be stored in an area where temperature fluctuations are minimal. Extreme temperatures can cause fuel to expand and contract, potentially leading to leaks or damage to the container. Moreover, excessive heat can increase the rate of fuel degradation, reducing its shelf life.


Fuel storage areas should be well-ventilated to prevent the build-up of hazardous fumes. This is particularly important for gasoline, which can evaporate quickly and create flammable vapors. The storage area should be free from heat sources and ignition points such as open flames, sparks, or static electricity to prevent accidental ignition of these vapors.


Fuel containers should be kept at least 50 feet away from living spaces, water sources, and electrical appliances. This reduces the risk of accidental ignition or contamination of water sources. If a fire does occur, this separation can help prevent it from spreading to other areas.


Lastly, your fuel storage location should be secure to prevent unauthorized access and theft. This can be achieved through locked storage cabinets or rooms, surveillance cameras, or other security measures. 

fuel stabilizers added

how to store fuel for generators safely

Now that we’ve discussed the basics of fuel storage, it’s time to dive into some pro tips to ensure your generator fuel is used safely and efficiently. These fuel storage safety tips will help extend the life of your fuel, maintain your storage containers, and ensure that you dispose of old or contaminated fuel in a responsible manner.

fresh fuel management

Storing fresh fuel for extended periods (more than 30 days) can lead to degradation, which can harm your generator’s performance. To prevent this, consider using a fuel stabilizer. This additive prolongs the shelf life of fuel, ensuring it stays fresh and efficient for a longer time. !

regular inspection

Regular inspection of your fuel containers is crucial in maintaining safety standards. Look for any signs of leaks, cracks, or damage. Even minor issues can escalate quickly if left unattended, leading to fuel leakage or contamination.

container selection

Never store fuel in containers that were previously used for other substances, such as paint thinners or solvents. Residual chemicals can contaminate the fuel, affecting its efficiency and potentially causing damage to your generator.

disposal of old fuel

Lastly, it’s essential to dispose of old or contaminated fuel responsibly. This type of waste should be taken to designated hazardous waste collection sites. Improper disposal can harm the environment and pose safety risks.


Understanding how to store fuel used by generators properly is critical to ensuring a reliable backup power system. By following safety guidelines, selecting appropriate containers, and implementing a rotation system, users can mitigate the risks associated with fuel degradation. With a well-maintained fuel storage strategy, individuals can confidently rely on generators to provide uninterrupted power during critical moments, keeping them safe in the face of unforeseen power outages.

The goal of BISON’s generator suppliers is to equip you with the knowledge to ensure your safety, efficiency and longevity during fuel storage. By following these guidelines, you will not only extend the shelf life of your fuel, but also optimize the performance of your generator and contribute to a safer environment.

store fuel for generators safely FAQ

Store the tank in a well-ventilated area of your garage or shed. Ensure that the tank is protected from direct sunlight.

Remember to run your generator dry before storing it to ensure there is no residual fuel left in the engine. Always refer to your generator’s user manual for specific storage instructions.

  • Prevent Fuel Degradation: Over time, fuel can degrade and cause problems in the engine.
  • Avoid Damages: Storing without fuel can help prevent damages to the carburetor and other components.
  • Safety Measures: It reduces the risk of fire hazards during storage.

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