Minister criticised for fuel panic

29 Mar 2012

A minister has come under fire for calling on the public to stock up on fuel by filling 'jerry cans' full of petrol to store at home - despite warnings that drivers should not panic-buy.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) condemned the advice of Francis Maude, a Cabinet Office minister, saying that it should be withdrawn due to the fire and explosion risks associated with keeping large amounts of fuel in a house or garage.

The Coalition has also been accused of "intending to create a crisis", with petrol station operators saying that it has prompted them to ration fuel in response to motorists rushing to fill their tanks.

Meanwhile, the AA said it did not recommend petrol to be stored in the home or garage. Its president Edmund King warned that vapours from the fuel can be hazardous as they can potentially cause a fire.

He added: "Filling car fuel tanks from a jerry can is difficult and can lead to dangerous spillages. Transporting or storing too much petrol can also be illegal as there are strict regulations on keeping petrol for domestic use."

Figures from the Retail Motor Industry Federation showed that petrol sales increased 45% from the average on Tuesday, while diesel rose 20%.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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