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Last Updated: May 29th, 2012 - 03:07:02 


Static Electricity at the Gas Pumps
By Cynthia Kirkeby
Oct 1, 2008, 10:25

Static Electricity at the Gas Pumps
This will make your hair stand on end!

The Petroleum Equipment Institute is working on a campaign in order to make people aware of fires as a result of "static" at gas pumps. His company has researched 150 cases of these fires and his results were very surprising:

1) Out of 150 cases, almost all of them were women.

2) Almost all of the cases involved the person getting back in their vehicle while the nozzle was still pumping gas. The fire was started as a result of static when they went back to pull the nozzle out of the gas tank.

3) Most people had on rubber-soled shoes.

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

5) As a precautionary measure, dot use a cell phone when pumping gas. Although some cellular phone manufacturers have said that the risk is very small that something will happen, there still is a small risk and we believe it should be counted.

6) When connected with static charges, the vapors that come off the gas caused the fires.

7) Twenty-nine fires occurred in a variety of makes and models as a result of the vehicle being re-entered and the nozzle touched during refueling. Some of these fires 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.

The Petroleum Institute stresses to NEVER get back into your vehicle while filling it with gas. If you absolutely MUST get in your vehicle while the gas is pumping, make sure you get out of the car and close the door by 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.

As mentioned earlier, The Petroleum Equipment Institute, along with several other companies, are trying to make the public aware of this danger. You can find out more information by going to Once there, click on the "Stop Static" icon in the center of the screen.

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