Flammables Vs Combustibles

Many people think that kerosene is flammable because it burns. However, it doesn't strictly meet the definition. According to the Department of Transportation, flammable liquids are those that can be easily ignited at room temperature. Combustible liquids can be made to burn at room temperature, but are more difficult to ignite.

What is Kerosene?

Kerosene is a combustible liquid. That means it can be shipped in regular containers and requires no warning label and, generally speaking, there is no limit in the amount that can be shipped on the ground. You will actually have a hard time lighting kerosene with a match. If you put kerosene into a container or spill it on the ground, you will have a hard time lighting it up with a match. That is why kerosene is much safer than flammable liquids.

Don't be confused by the word combustible. It does not mean that the container is going to blow up. It simply classifies that the liquid will only burn at higher temperatures. In other words, the easier to ignite fuels are flammable and the harder to ignite fuels are combustible.


Kerosene is much safer to store than many other liquid fuels. It does not need to be stored under pressure with a special container. It is less ignitable. For these reasons, kerosene is a favorite choice for people that wish to purchase heating and cooking appliances.

If you are thinking of storing fuel, for a disaster, then kerosene is perhaps the best choice. It is much safer to store than gasoline and propane – not to mention easier to use and less expensive.