Storing Kerosene for Emergency Purposes

kerosene-smellMost machines and appliances today run on either electricity or gas (LPG). Automobile and several types of engines consume diesel and gas. Kerosene is a cheaper, longer-lasting substitute for these known fuels and storing them can become more than just handy in times of need.

Uses for Kerosene

Automatically, people would associate kerosene with lamps and camp stoves. This is because kerosene is ideal for small but efficient function. What most people do not know is that it can also be used to power larger machines like refrigerators, big stoves and even tractors. In the event of a gas or electricity shortage, kerosene is the cheapest and easiest form of power source anyone can store and use. They are also much safer and least likely to cause hazardous complications if used within the house.

Advantage of Storing Kerosene Instead of Gasoline

Of all fuel types, kerosene is the most convenient, if not the easiest, to store. Unlike gasoline, kerosene is more energy efficient and lasts much longer for consumption. It is more commonly used for cooking and lighting lamps rather than fuel for automobiles or motors. In the event of power shortages and similar scenarios, kerosene is the most efficient fuel to rely on.

Unlike gasoline, kerosene does not “freeze” under really cold temperature. It does not evaporate either, which makes people confident to store it for a longer period of time. There is no special form of treatment required in storing kerosene. If left in a clean, tight container under ideal temperature, kerosene will remain stable.

How to Store Kerosene Properly

Although kerosene requires no significant treatment, in particular, it does grow quite thick under such conditions and can be difficult to pour. Improper storage will result in a less effective fuel. Kerosene that is stored in an unclean container will gather or “grow” organic elements that may result in thick, gooey substances. These can clog up engines or make kerosene hardly flammable.

Storing kerosene should be done safely, despite its safer quality compared to other gas fuels. Some people might think that stored kerosene in the garage is safe enough, but better precaution should be considered. A separate shed outdoors is the most ideal place to store any form of fuel. It is also against most fire safety regulations to store flammable fuels inside the home.

Any type of approved container will be sufficient to store kerosene in, provided that it can be tightly sealed and has no leaks. Oil drums are the best choice because they have lockable seals. For larger quantities of kerosene, diesel tanks might serve more space while plastic bucket containers will suffice for smaller amounts. When storing with steel tanks, make sure to provide some ventilation since kerosene may tend to contract or expand depending on the temperature.

Do not, however, store any form of fuel in a glass container. Glass absorbs and increases heat, transmitting it into its interior which may ignite the kerosene inside. Even when placed in sheds, stored kerosene should be kept in ideal temperatures, at least nowhere near 563 degrees Fahrenheit. Kerosene will auto-ignite under that condition. Normally, red coloured containers indicate that it contains gasoline. Blue is the colour to indicate “kerosene”. If a blue container is unavailable, labelling the tanks or buckets is highly preferred. This will help avoid accidental usage.

Finally, make sure to position containers where there are no other flammable items nearby. Tanks should be stored horizontally, layered on top of each other. Slightly elevating the platform that the containers are placed on is alright. Just make sure to have the sides bordered safely to prevent any of the containers from slipping off or falling, just in case.


Although storing kerosene is not an ideal preparation for everyone, it can save much energy and give light in times of need. Dark days with no electrical or gas power will be easier to live through with good storage and preparation. Read about the best machete, pink pocket knife, and hunting knife.


  1. This is a very informative article. I like that you point out that kerosene does not freeze or evaporate, thus making it easier to store. I think that one of the hardest things about having an emergency preparedness kit is that you have to replace the articles every so often. I can see why kerosene would be a good choice when wanting something that doesn’t have to be changed out so often. My mom is really big into emergency preparedness. I will have to show her the advantages of having kerosene stored with the other things.

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