The warning from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) comes after the government admitted it made a mistake advising drivers to stock up on petrol in jerry cans in case of a strike by fuel tanker drivers.
There has been scenes of panic buying in some areas, with long queues of motorists waiting at petrol stations.
If a fuel tanker strike was called, seven day's notice would be given.
Olaf Baars, deputy chief fire officer at RBFRS, said: "Petrol is an extremely dangerous, highly flammable, explosive and toxic substance.
"There are laws governing its storage, which require that only very small quantities of petrol are kept in appropriate containers and in a well ventilated, secure building away from your house.
"Our concern is that people may underestimate the dangers and store increased quantities of petrol unsafely, which could lead to devastating fires and even loss of life."
For more information about storing petrol, visit www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/petroleum-faqs.htm
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