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Top 4 Gas Station Safety Tips

{ Posted on Jun 18 2010 by Marcus Alston }

I was at a gas station recently and again noticed a peculiar warning sign that is seemingly slowly becoming more popular at gas stations.  The message read:


  • Before fueling, discharge any static electricity build up by touching your bare hand to a metal surface away from the vehicle
  • Do not reenter your vehicle while your gasoline is pumping.  Reentry could cause static electricity build up.”

This led me to do some research on this issue and gas station safety in general.  My 4 favorite gas station fueling safety tips are:

  1. Avoid Static Electricity.  Believe it or not, static electricity can cause a spark that could lead to a fire or explosion.  This is extremely rare, but possible.  Serious injuries and deaths at gas stations have been attributed to static electricity in the past.  As the instructions quoted above state, you may avoid creating static electricity by grounding, or discharging, any static from your body by touching something metal before fueling.  Avoid going in and out of your car when fueling, particularly in cool or cold and dry conditions.  Doing so can cause static build up (often caused by the friction between the person’s clothing and the car seat) that is similar to rubbing your feet on carpet.
  2. Turn off your car before fueling.  Filling up your car while pumping gas is not safe.  A fire plus a running car with an open fuel tank is a bad combination that could lead to an explosion.
  3. Do not light a match, start a cigarette lighter or smoke near a gas pump or a gas station. The flame from your match or lighter, the ash from your cigarette/cigar, or the cigarette/cigar butt can cause gasoline vapors in the air or fuel on the ground to catch fire. This fire can eventually result in an explosion if it comes into contact with a vehicle’s fuel tank.  If you see someone else smoking, let them know they are putting everyone’s life at risk.  There should be a law against smoking at gas stations in my view.
  4. Avoid gasoline spills.  Do not overfill or top off your tank.  Stop when the fuel dispenser shuts off which is telling you the tank is full.  If you make a spill, clean it up quickly to help protect yourself and others from the gas vapors.  Gas vapor is not good to breathe, not good for the environment, and is a fire hazard.  For articles an article on going green (and saving money), click here.  Far carpooling tips, click here.
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