Hertfordshire Fire Service is advising people not to stock up on petrol.

With panic at the pumps last week, people are being reminded to store any extra petrol they may have in jerry cans safely.

By law, people are allowed store no more than 20 litres of petrol in two ten-litre metal containers or ten litres in two five-litre plastic containers which must be specifically designed for the purpose and marked as petroleum and highly flammable.

Anyone found storing more than the legal amount could face prosecution.

White Watch Commander Bob Williams said: “People aren’t always aware of the dangers of storing petrol the fire risk it poses.

“If people are going to store fuel it must be in a well ventilated area as fumes are what pose the main risk of fire.”

Chief fire officer, Roy Wilsher, said: "I don't think people realise the explosive risks involved in storing fuel, even if it is done legally and sensibly.

“We would strongly advise Hertfordshire residents not to stock up on petrol.

“Given the small amount that is legal to store it's hardly worth the enormous risk to lives and property."

Last week the threat of possible strikes by tanker drivers lead to panic pumps and in Borehamwood and Elstee petrol stations were left dry.

Negotiations between the tanker drivers union Unite and the government to prevent a strike after Easter are ongoing.