Gas Cans – Knowing "What to Use"
With so many different types of fuel containers available in the marketplace, it could be confusing as to what type of container is appropriate for storing gasoline or other flammable liquids. As a quick general overview, all of the containers below can be used as fuel containers --- but it depends on who is using it (the individual user and their environment) and their application (storing and transferring liquid versus transporting it) -- that determines "what gas can to use when."
Standard Plastic Gas Cans
These are specifically intended for consumer use around the home and sell in the retail range of $10 - $50. They are widely available from hardware stores, home centers and big-box chain retailers.
Metal and Polyethylene Safety Cans
These are "Safety Cans" which are FM approved and/or UL Listed, and are required by OSHA when used by any business or commercial enterprise. Key required safety features include flame arresters, self-closing lids, pressure relief, and 100% leak testing. They generally range in purchase price from $50 to $150 and are available through industrial and safety supply distributors.
DOT Approved Safety Cans
These are FM and DOT/UN approved safety cans, and are required for use in any commercial vehicle by the Department of Transportation and OSHA when transporting flammable or combustible liquids on public roads and highways (with some minor exceptions, such as if transporting less than 1/3 of a gallon). Key required safety features, over and above “Safety Cans”, include rugged handle drop protection and a lid locking device for transport. DOT approved safety cans generally range in purchase price from $150 to $300 and are available through industrial and safety supply distributors.