Static Electricity Hazards at the Gas Pump

By admin
January 02, 2017


Static electricity related incidents at gas stations are relatively unusual, but the potential for them to happen is at its highest during cool or cold and dry conditions. Under some circumstances, sparks from static electricity can result in a flash fire occurring at the gas point. Consumers can take steps to minimize these potential fueling hazards by following safe refueling procedures all year long.

Refueling Safety Guidelines

  • Turn off your vehicle engine. Put your vehicle in park and/or set the emergency brake. Disable or turn off any auxiliary sources of ignition such as a camper or trailer heater, cooking units, or pilot lights.
  • Do not smoke, light matches or lighters while refueling at the pump or when using gasoline anywhere else.
  • Use only the refueling latch provided on the gasoline dispenser nozzle. Never jam the refueling latch on the nozzle open.
  • Do not re-enter your vehicle during refueling. If you cannot avoid re-entering your vehicle, discharge any static build-up BEFORE reaching for the nozzle by touching something metal with a bare hand – such as the vehicle door – away from the nozzle.
  • In the unlikely event a static-caused fire occurs when refueling, leave the nozzle in the fill pipe and back away from the vehicle. Notify the station attendant immediately.
  • When dispensing gasoline into a container, use only an approved portable container and place it on the ground to avoid a possible static electricity ignition of fuel vapors. Containers should never be filled while inside a vehicle or its trunk, the bed of a pickup truck or the floor of a trailer.

Source: The American Petroleum Institute

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