Transporting containers of petrol

What are the hazards of transporting a container of petrol?

If petrol fumes vent from a container inside a vehicle, it can form an explosive fuel and air mixture. If there is an ignition source this mixture can then explode and injure, or even kill the driver and any passengers.

Ignition sources can include electrical equipment in the vehicle such as using a remote locking mechanism, or lighting a cigarette in or near the vehicle.

Ventilation is the key to reducing the risk of fire or explosion inside a vehicle.

Petrol classification details are as follows:

  • Classification: Flammable Liquid Class 3
  • UN No.: 1203
  • flammability range: 1.4 to 7.6 per cent in air.

Separate and ventilate—Carrying some spare petrol in your car? - poster (PDF 2382 kb)

How do I safely transport containers of petrol?

Petrol can be transported in tins and jerry cans that comply with Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2906. The capacity of containers filled with petrol at service stations is limited to 25 litres.

Go to Standards Australia to search for the standard AS/NZS 2906 or look online for containers that comply with the standard.

If possible, transport tins or jerry cans of petrol (properly restrained) in a trailer or ute tray. If this is not possible, the following precautions will help you to transport the containers safely:

  • Exercise caution when filling containers. Avoid splashing by keeping the dispenser nozzle in contact with the tin or jerry can, and ensure the container is in good contact with the ground.
  • Ensure the container lid seals securely and is unable to shake loose during transport.
  • Avoid transporting fertilisers and oxidising agents with containers of petrol.
  • Where transport inside a vehicle is necessary, ensure the jerry can is securely restrained on the floor and ventilation is provided by open.

Remember—separate and ventilate!