HAMPSHIRE householders are being urged not to hoard petrol during the crisis caused by a shortage of tanker drivers.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) has issued a safety warning following reports that motorists are filling jerry cans as well as their fuel tanks.

Firefighters fear the practice could result in fires involving petrol being stored in homes and domestic garages.

HIWFRS tweeted: "We strongly advise against the storing of petrol and diesel due to their high flammability.

"Because of the fire risks they should be stored in approved containers, in a well-ventilated area, and never inside the home."

Safety advice has also been issued by Hampshire County Council.

The authority said: "Never fill the fuel tank of an internal combustion engine inside a building. Petrol fumes are explosive and narcotic

"Never put or keep petrol in unsuitable containers. Some plastic containers will dissolve when petrol is put in them. Always use secure metal or approved plastic containers which are properly marked.

"Always store petrol safely, in a well-ventilated place, never under a stairway, in a passage or in domestic house. Ensure the storage is away from any source of ignition (eg - electrical equipment, heaters, etc.)

"Never pour petrol into drains or water courses - it is a criminal offence to do so."