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Thread: Phoning whilst fueling...not a good idea!

  1. #1
    Regular Member Doug-SRidirect's Avatar
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    Default Phoning whilst fueling...not a good idea!

    The American Petroleum Institute recently issued a warning after three incidents in which mobile 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, almost all of them were women.

    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.

    4) Most men never get back in their vehicle until completely finished. This is why they are seldom involved in these types of fires.

    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.



  2. #2
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    I knew about the mobiles discharging, but never thought about the static from getting back into and out of the car during re-fuelling. (and this from an ex firefighter)

    Good advice bud.

  3. #3
    Regular Member greeningr's Avatar
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    Not sure I agree with this.
    MythBusters on Discovery, did a load of experiments on just this.

    They proved that the signal/power from a standard Mobile phone is not enough to ignite petrol or diesel vapours.

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    Just because it didn't happen in their tests doesn't mean it won't happen in the real world.

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    Regular Member Brocks's Avatar
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    Saw that one too.

    Understand the static issue though. I know Aircraft have to be earthed during refueling to stop the vapor exploding.

    It may not be an issue here in the UK. In the states you can still plug the pump in and leave it running while you do something less boring instead. I can't remember the last time I filled up and was able to lock the nozzle open and refuel hands free. Haven't seen that mechansim for years.

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    Richard Hammond of Top Gear did this on another show. He filled a caravan fill of petrol cannisters and a mobile 'phone and rang it. Nothing happened. In the end they put in about 15 mobiles and got people to ring them at the same time, result - nothing. No ignition, however, there wasn't any static involved, because there wasn't anyone in the caravan (obviously !)

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    Regular Member Damian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys 9317
    Richard Hammond of Top Gear did this on another show. He filled a caravan fill of petrol cannisters and a mobile 'phone and rang it. Nothing happened. In the end they put in about 15 mobiles and got people to ring them at the same time, result - nothing. No ignition, however, there wasn't any static involved, because there wasn't anyone in the caravan (obviously !)
    BRAINIAC Science Abuse on Sky 1

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    Regular Member Doug-SRidirect's Avatar
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    I think they're talking about a minute spark from the battery, switch, buttons or something....rather than the (micro) radio waves. On petrochemical plant all electronics have to be "intrinsically safe" meaning any gaps in the casing are sealed to prevent vapour getting inside the radio (or whatever) and being ignighted by a tiny spark inside the unit itself. Regular mobile phones are never "intrinsically safe" and are never allowed on hazardous plant.
    Doug

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    If you want to refuel and leave the pump on without holding the trigger, put your fuel cap in between the handle and trigger when the pump is on.

    Not that I could ever recommend this type of irresponsible behaviour of course.

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    Regular Member Doug-SRidirect's Avatar
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    Yes, that'll leave both hands free to light up a fag!!!

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