The SHELL OIL company has recently alerted people to the dangers of cell phone use and refuelling. This is a must read for anyone who refuels their vehicle.
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.
Shell Oil Company recently issued a warning after three incidents in which mobile phones (cell phones) ignited fumes during fueling operations.
Case #1: 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.
Case @2: an individual suffered severe burns to the face when fumes ignited as they answered a call while refueling their car!
Case #3: 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.
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.)
Here are the Four Rules for Safe Refueling:
- Turn off engine
- Don’t smoke
- Don’t use your cell phone – leave it inside the vehicle or turn it off
- Don’t re-enter your vehicle during fueling.
The Petroleum Equipment Institute is working on a campaign to make people aware of the risk of fires as a result of static electricity at gas pumps. 150 cases of these fires have been examined.
The results were very surprising:
- Out of 150 cases, almost all of them were women.
- Almost all cases involved the person getting back into 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 a static spark from their bodies from sliding out of the vehicle.
- Most had on rubber-soled shoes.
- Most men never get back in their vehicle until completely finished. This is why they are seldom involved in these types of fires.
- Don’t ever use cell phones when pumping gas.
- It is the vapors that come out of the gas that cause the fire, when connected with static charges.
- 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.
- Seventeen fires occurred before, during or immediately after the gas cap was removed and before fueling began.
The institute emphasizes that you should NEVER get back into your vehicle while filling it with gas. If you absolutely HAVE to get into 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.
The reasons why people get back into the car while it is being refueled vary: there may be children or pets in the car, weather conditions may be very uncomfortable, so the person refueling the car, may be trying to escape the elements.
Companies now are really trying to make the public aware of this danger as the risks of a phone related incident occurring are very high.
After reading this alert, you should consider sending this information to ALL your family and friends, especially those who have kids in the car with them while pumping gas. If this were to happen to them, they may not be able to get the children out in time.
Pass this along to your family and friends.