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Avoid a fire from static electricity when pumping gas

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Shell Oil Comments: Safety Alert!

Here are some reasons why we don't allow cell phones in

operating areas, propylene oxide handling and storage area,

propane, gas and diesel refueling areas.

The Shell Oil Company recently issued a warning after three

incidents in which mobile phones (cell phones) ignited fumes

during fueling operations.

In the first case, the phone was placed on the car's trunk lid

during fueling; it rang and the ensuing fire destroyed the car

and the gasoline pump.

In the second, an individual suffered severe burns to their

face when fumes ignited as they answered a call while refueling

their car.

And in the third, an individual suffered burns to the thigh

and groin as fumes ignited when the phone, which was in their

pocket, rang while they were fueling their car.

You should know that: Mobile Phones can ignite fuel or fumes.

Mobile phones that light up when switched on or when they ring

release enough energy to provide a spark for ignition.

Mobile phones should not be used in filling stations, or when

fueling lawn mowers, boat, etc.

Mobile phones should not be used, or should be turned off,

around other materials that generate flammable or explosive fumes

or dust, (I.e., solvents, chemicals, gases, grain dust, etc...)

TO sum it up, here are the Four Rules for Safe Refueling:

1) Turn off engine

2) Don't smoke

3) Don't use your cell phone - leave it inside the vehicle or

turn it off

4) Don't re-enter your vehicle during fueling.

Bob Renkes of Petroleum Equipment Institute is working on a

campaign to try and make people aware of fires as a result of

'static electricity' at gas pumps. His company has researched 150

cases of these fires. His results were very surprising:

1) Out of 150 cases,

2) Almost all cases involved the person getting back in their

vehicle while the nozzle was still pumping gas. When finished,

they went back to pull the nozzle out and the fire started, as a

result of static.

3) Most had on rubber-soled shoes.

5) Don't ever use cell phones when pumping gas.

6) It is the vapors that come out of the gas that cause the

fire, when connected with static charges.

7) There were 29 fires where the vehicle was re-entered and

the nozzle was touched during refueling from a variety of makes

and models. Some resulted in extensive damage to the vehicle, to the

station, and to the customer.

8) Seventeen fires occurred before, during or immediately

after the gas cap was removed and before fueling began.

Mr. Renkes stresses to NEVER get back into your vehicle while

filling it with gas. If you absolutely HAVE to get in your vehicle while the gas is

pumping, make sure you get out, close the door TOUCHING THE

METAL, before you ever pull the nozzle out. This way the static from

your body will be discharged before you ever remove the nozzle.

As mentioned earlier, The Petroleum Equipment Institute,

along with several other companies now, are really trying to make

the public aware of this danger, especially those who have kids in the car with them

while pumping gas. If a fire were to happen, they may not be

able to get the children out in time.


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