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Be safe if storing fuel at home

27/01/2015 - General News

Sheena Thomas

Fuel prices are the lowest they’ve been in five years, but storing fuel at home can be highly dangerous.

Z Energy’s Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Manager, Julie Rea, cautions customers to understand the risks before deciding to store fuel at home.

“With fuel prices 47 cents per litre cheaper than they were three months ago, a number of customers have been considering whether or not to fill up their fuel containers while the price is low.

“If you do decide to store a container of fuel at home, for safety reasons we recommend you store only small quantities and make sure that you are using a purpose built, approved fuel storage container. 

“If you choose to hold more than 50 litres, be aware there are additional legal requirements that you must meet,” said Julie.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) provides some useful guidelines on storing fuel on their website, including information on the relevant legal obligations.

The EPA states that fuel can only be stored and transported in approved fuel containers that have an appropriate sealing cap, are made of metal or a durable plastic that won’t react with the fuel and that are clearly labelled to identify the fuel and the potential hazards; and store no more than 50 litres. Full details can be found here: http://www.epa.govt.nz/Publications/Fuel-Containers-at-home.pdf.

“Worryingly, we’ve seen a few customers trying to fill fuel into containers such as soft drink bottles.

“But using an unapproved fuel container is not only illegal, it’s highly dangerous and can put your entire household at risk.

“And given it’s an illegal activity, should something happen, you may not be covered by your insurance provider.

“Fuel products such as petrol are highly flammable – if not stored and handled properly, these sorts of substances can seriously endanger people, property and the environment.   

“As a company committed to safety, we want to make sure that our customers are not putting themselves or their families in a risky position, and in this instance, the risks are simply not worth it.

“So have a look at the EPA website, only use approved fuel containers to store fuel, and don’t store more than 50 litres unless you have all the relevant certifications,” said Julie.



Fuel storage Do’s and Don’ts:



  • Only fill containers that have been stamped to say they are approved to carry flammable liquids, have an appropriate sealing cap, and are made of metal or a durable plastic
  • Place portable fuel containers on the ground and fill slowly
  • Ensure nozzle is touching the container to prevent the build-up of static electricity
  • Store out of sunlight in a cool location
  • Check your legal and insurance obligations



  • Use containers that are not approved for storing fuel
  • Fill containers on the back of a truck deck, trailer, utility vehicle or in car boots as there is a risk of an explosion from a build-up of static electricity.
  • Leave containers in the back of a car as the container will get pressurised as the petrol heats up
  • Store more than 50 litres without the  relevant certifications
  • Store for more than three months - petrol is not suitable for long term storage


This summary is intended to be guidance only. We recommend you always check your legal obligations before using portable fuel containers and storing fuel.