There have been lots of online forum questions these days on how safe storing gasoline inside homes would be using 55 or 30 gallon drums, in light of doomsday predictions and how we human beings can best prepare for it. Will gas go bad during doomsday? Sure! How should we store it then? Do we have to rotate gas just like how we do food? Are 50 gallon gas drums a sitting fire hazard on our garage? Especially with all the kids’ bikes and toys inside as well?
You can get hold of so much advice in the forums indeed. Some believe venting the drums is a must. Others wince at the idea simply because gas will easily evaporate. Others still continue crying about how unsafe the idea is, and how insurance and local codes become an issue.
Here are some smart ideas and ways to get around such dilemma. It’s also wise to consider local laws indeed before you start storing fuel.
- A DOT-approved barrel/drum is designed as a stable platform to hold hazardous contents. In most cases, steel would be much safer than plastic barrel types.
- The ignition point of gasoline is from 475 to 536 °F, and it’ll only explode whenever vaporized (fuel injectors, or the carburetor does this in vehicles).
- Fuel tends to expand and contract in hot/cold temperatures. It is both the expansion and contraction that builds up the pressure. This causes containers to fail, spilling flammable liquid and fumes all over storage space. The presence of an ignition source – sparks from light switches, garage door openers, the water heater, and many more, initiates an explosion in enclosed spaces as vapors build up, or whenever fuel finds its way to open flames.
All these should tell you that a gallon safety vent is needed to vent off the pressure once it gets too high and equalize vacuums that occur as fuel is pumped out. This also applies in very cold conditions.
The storage drum must be grounded into the earth via a grounding rod or water pipe. Ground wires must be used to secure the storage drum into the container or tank where fuel is pumped into. Some of today’s fuel pumps are made for fueling purposes; they can bond any two containers automatically and prevent any instance of static electricity discharges, or sparks.
Remember that we have to use pumps designed specifically for transferring gasoline from one container to another. Electric pump motors can be dangerous in such situation since it can start sparks; non-fuel pumps are equally dangerous they can cause explosions as well. Hand pumps designed for extracting gas is a must have doomsday prepper equipment. If you want to learn more, you can always get your hands on safe fuel storage manuals.
To conclude, storing either gas or diesel in steel drums is a whole lot safer than purchasing 10 fancy plastic gas containers in many ways, particularly in the fact that a steel container can easily be grounded to prevent static electricity sparks from ever happening upon fuel transfers and storage. Check out the best prepper machetes, folding knives, and survival knives.
Always remember that doomsday prepping, in all sense, is not really about storing thousands and thousands of gallons of fuel; it’s more about having just enough within the boundaries of safety, logic, and common sense. The exact definition of having just enough is something to get away to a safe place when needed, or simply just to power your generator. Don’t forget to have a few fire extinguishers on the ready.
Since you are prepping for any doomsday scenario, you also have to prepare for anything that comes along while you’re prepping. Consider it as common sense in a time that needs to have sense.