Fuel Options

It is important to understand a variety of fuels and how to safely use and store them. Be sure to check with your local authorities and comply with all laws and regulations in your area.

 

Storage Fuel Comparison

Conflicting information is everywhere! This is our best estimate according to our research. Use great caution in storing fuel!

Fuel Recommended Shelf Life What Happens After Shelf Life How to Store Safely Cautions
Alcohol Indefinite Alcohol will lose potency if left open and allowed to evaporate Store in tightly sealed original container in a cool, dry place. Extremely flammable

Evaporates quickly
Batteries (Lithium) 10 years Lose potency Best stored in an airtight container in a cool location Leakage
Batteries (Alkaline) 3-5 years - - May last much longer than expiration date printed on package Lose potency Best stored in an airtight container in a cool location Leakage
Battery Bank Varies No longer holds a charge well Keep cells filled, keep batteries, terminals and cables clean.

Store lead acid batteries in properly vented box
Electrical shock

Acid burns

Batteries may explode
Butane 8 years - Indefinite N/A Store in cool, dry place away form heat sources Highly Flammable

Not recommended for indoor use
Canister Fuel Indefinite N/A Store carefully in a cool, dry place away from heat sources

Dispose of containers that have dents or signs of rust
Explosive risk

Do not use indoors!

Do not store in home
Canned Heat Varies by manufacturer

10 years - Indefinite if unopened
Alcohol has an indefinite shelf life - combinations of fuel differ - may not burn as well Store upright, away from heat sources.  Dispose of damaged or dented cans. Open flame precautions

Cans may leak if not stored in an upright position
Charcoal Indefinite if stored in airtight container May not light or burn well if moisture has been absorbed - dry out on a hot, dry day to restore viability Store in airtight plastic or metal containers to prevent moisture absorption

Produces vast amounts of deadly carbon monoxide. Never use indoors!

Coal Long life Air speeds up deterioration and breakdown, causing coal to burn faster Store away from circulating air, light, and moisture away from home Susceptible to spontaneous combustion

Produces carbon monoxide

Coleman Fuel

(white gas)

6-7 years (unopened)

3-4 years (opened 3/4 full)

1-2 years (opened 1/2 full)

Will not burn as well Store in original container, in a dry area, with no rapid or extreme changes in temperature

Store in detached garage or shed

Highly flammable

Produces carbon monoxide

Never use indoors!

Diesel 18-24 months Life may be extended with a fuel stabilizer
Will not burn as well
Store in approved containers in detached garage or shed

Produces carbon monoxide 

Do not burn indoors!

Firewood 3-4+ years Decreases in BTU output Store off the ground, protect from moisture, allow for plenty of air circulation

Store away from the house
Termites, pests, and rodents

Fuel Tablets

(Esbit, Trioxane, Hexamine, Sterno)

Indefinite N/A Store in a dry place in original packaging Use in well-ventilated area

Do not burn indoors!
Gasoline 12 months Breaks down and becomes ineffective

May be extended with a fuel stabilizer

Store in approved containers in detached garage or shed

Best place is in the tank of your car
Highly flammable

Storing large quantities is hazardous
Gel Fuel Unknown Unknown Store in a cool, dry place in original packaging Flammable

Outdoor use only
Kerosene 5+ years Will not burn as hot Store in approved plastic container in a cool, dry place.

Store in detached garage or shed
Produces deadly carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas), nitrogen dioxide (which may cause throat and lung irritation), and sulfur dioxide (which can impair breathing)

Use in well-ventilated area!  Avoid indoor use
Lamp Oil Unknown Unknown Store in a cool, dry place in original container, tightly sealed

Do not allow to freeze!
Combustible liquid

Frozen oil may defrost too quickly, posing an explosive hazard
Lighter Fluid Indefinite N/A Store in a cool, dry place away from open flames Newspaper or canned heat will work in a charcoal chimney and is much safer
Matches Indefinite N/A Keep dry!  
MRE Heaters 5 years - Indefinite Takes longer to heat up and does not achieve high temperatures Store in a cool, dry place away from water. Keep activated heater away from open flame as it produces hydrogen gas and may create an explosive hazard
Newspaper Logs Indefinite N/A Store in dry place Burns better if mixed with regular wood
Propane Indefinite N/A Watch canister/tank for signs of rust or dents. Replace damaged canisters immediately

Store in detached garage or shed
Pressurized cylinder of flammable gas

Leaks pool in lowest place, creating an explosive hazard

Do not use indoors except in appliances rated for indoor use
Solar Solar modules usually have a 25 year warranty - may work longer Effectiveness decreases Keep clean and free of debris None

Wax

(Candles)

Indefinite N/A Store in a cool, dry place

Open flames are dangerous


Use great caution!

Wind Turbines 5-25 years Output may diminish or malfunction Periodic maintenance Danger - moving parts

Avoid contact when running

 

Fuel can be extremely dangerous and should never be stored inside of a home.

 

Never store fuel in any building you can not afford to have burn down!

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