Safety Message

A Safety Message Worth Repeating

When you are at the gas pump, do you start the pump and climb back in your car while pumping your gas?

The Petroleum Equipment Institute is working to make people aware of automobile fires as a result of “static electricity” at gas pumps.  They have researched 150 cases of these fires.  This is especially critical in cold weather when more individuals climb back in their vehicles while refueling.

NEVER get back in your vehicle while filling it with gas.  If you have to get back in your vehicle while the gas is pumping, make sure when you get out you close the door TOUCHING THE METAL before you touch the nozzle.  This way the static from your body will be discharged before you remove the nozzle.

The results of the Petroleum Equipment survey were surprising:

  • Almost all cases involved the person getting back into the vehicle while the nozzle was still pumping gas.  When finished, the person went back to pull the nozzle out.  The fire started then as a result of static discharge.
  • Don’t use cell phones when pumping gas.  The RF energy from a cell phone can cause a sparking on bare metal, much like aluminum foil in a microwave oven.
  • It is the vapors that come out of the gas that cause the fire, ignited by static discharge.
  • Seventeen of the fires occurred before, during, or immediately after the gas cap was removed and before fueling began.