Diesel fuel was invented in the late 19th century and since then, it has become one of the most popular and efficient fuel sources available to us. However, diesel fuel is a highly combustible substance and precautions need to be taken when handling it. If you have it at home, it’s imperative that you handle it with care.
Since many of us use it as part of our everyday life, from running our motor vehicles to heating our homes, it’s important to follow certain rules to make sure that you’re handling and storing your diesel fuel correctly.
In this guide, we offer some tips on how to do this correctly as it’s ultimately your responsibility.
Equipment For Proper Storage
If you want to store diesel for any amount of time, you must previously ensure that it’s free of contamination as this will guarantee its safety and longevity.
The best method is to use a drum or a tank and in this way, your diesel can be stored for up to a year. When storing a small amount of diesel fuel, a portable 5-gallon gas can is sufficient, however, for a larger amount, you must find special storage containers like 55-gallon drums or a stand-alone tank. These larger tanks are made of metal or specially formulated polyethylene and depending on the site and regulations dictated, they are installed above or below ground.
The exact size of the tank depends on the amount of fuel you want to store. A tip is to ensure that there’s no pooling of water on top of the tank, as this can lead to rust and even insect and bacterial growth which may lead to contamination issues.
Remember to never fill the tank entirely as space is needed for the expansion of diesel by heat. Always make sure to keep it away from combustible materials to prevent the risk of an explosion.
How To Handle It Safely
Simple rules need to be followed to ensure that you are handling your diesel fuel safely. Something that’s always stressed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), is that diesel must be kept well from any potential sources of ignition.
To have diesel fuel that works at an optimum level, from a storing and handling point of view, one must make sure that the diesel is completely free of contamination.
When you’re about to fill a container, always do this on the ground so that any possible static energy is discharged. To discharge static from your body, always use your bare hands so that this is done safely. The pump’s nozzle should touch the container so any static charges relate to refueling are dissipated as well.
Choose A Safe Location
Once you’ve selected the proper tank, its position in the home should be somewhere that will minimize the risk of it being damaged and that an impact could cause a leak. Only those who will refuel the tank or will be in charge of its maintenance should have access to it. Avoid installing storage tanks near any water sources or areas that are at risk of flooding as this will protect the environment if a fuel spillage or leak happens.
A dry and cool area is a must for diesel as it’s highly flammable and puts it in a discreet location away from prying eyes. A hidden and secure area where security precautions such as a padlock and alarm system are in place is the perfect place.
In Case A Spillage Happens
If you follow the above-mentioned precautions, you will minimize the risks of a spill but being prepared for any situation is always a good idea because diesel stains and smells are considered a contaminant to both wildlife and human health.
Always have a product to hand to envelop the spill that creates microencapsulation which neutralizes the diesel pH level and eliminates the smell and stains. Wash the area with water multiple times so that you’re sure that the harmful properties of diesel have been removed.
Regardless of how small or big, all diesel spills should be reported to the local authorities so that any additional precautions can be put in place for everyone’s safety and well-being.
If you follow this simple guide, storing and handling diesel at home will not be a hassle for you. Storing diesel fuel properly by using approved containers and keeping it in a safe place away from possible sources of ignition will protect you in the event of an emergency.
It will leave you and your family feeling safe when handling diesel for years to come and protect the environment from harm.