Four Rules for Avoiding a Gasoline Explosion at the Gas Pump
The Petroleum Equipment Institute wants everyone to be aware of fires caused by "static electricity" at gas pumps. PEI company has researched 150 of these fires.
PEI's VERY STRONG recommendation is to NEVER get back into your vehicle
while fueling it.
Here's an important question to consider: If you need to use a portable fuel container, do you know how to do it safely? It's a task that must always be done with safety in mind, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the American Petroleum Institute and other safety and fuel experts.
"Gasoline fumes are volatile. Static electricity can create a
Spring and summer bring many situations that may call for transporting
"Grounding is essential to avoid any build-up of static electricity
Basic safety steps for filling a portable fuel container, according to NHTSA, include:
Place the fuel container (use only an approved container) on the ground,
Keep the pump nozzle in contact with the container when filling, until
Don't use an automatic pump handle device -- fill the container manually and slowly. That helps decrease the chance of static electricity build-up as well as spilling or splattering.
Don't smoke when filling a portable fuel container.
Grounding, simply put, provides a path for the electric current to discharge safely -- the electricity is dissipated into the ground.
"Every time you pump gasoline, a charge of electricity builds up on gasoline as it flows through a pipe or hose and this charge takes several seconds to several minutes to dissipate after the gasoline has reached the tank or container," explains Bob Renkes, executive director of the Petroleum Equipment Institute.
Additionally, static electricity could build up when gasoline is flowing