The Petroleum Equipment Institute make people aware of fires as a result of "static" at gas pumps. The institute has researched over 150 cases of these fires. The results were very surprising:
1) Out of 150 cases, almost all of them were women. Most men never get back in their
vehicles until completely finished. This is why they are seldom involved in these types of fires.
2) Almost all cases involved the person getting back in their vehicle while the nozzle was still pumping gas, and when they were finished and went back to pull the nozzle out, the fire started as a result of static.
3) Most had on rubber-soled shoes.
4) Vapors, coming out of the gas and being ignited by static charges, cause the fire.
5) In 29 fires, the vehicle was reentered and the nozzle was touched during refueling from a variety of makes and models, some resulting in extensive damage to the vehicle, to the station, and to the customer.
6) In 17 cases, fires occurred during or immediately after the gas cap was removed and before fueling began.
PEI 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 that as 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.
The Petroleum Equipment Institute, along with several other companies now, are trying to make the public aware of this danger. You can find out more information by going to the Petroleum Equipment Institute website.
Three Rules for Safe Refueling
While filling up...
- Turn Off Engine
- Don't Smoke
- Never Re-enter Your Vehicle
Please get the word out on this issue that presents a clear danger to our sailors and employees posting this notice on your activity's safety or official bulletin boards for all hands and by discussing during safety meetings.