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Using mobile phones

Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 9 December 2003
Earlier this year I had a "heated debate" with a woman at a garage whilst filling the fuel tank. She was talking on her mobile phone whilst filling with petrol, and was totally unaware of the grave danger she posed to all.

I have pasted below a posting from an Aussie forum which quotes a recent press release made in Australia. I hope it will be of benefit to all and may even save someones life. Thanks to Shorty for this one.


Shell Oil Co. Announcement mobile phones/static electricity

The Shell Oil Company recently issued a warning after three incidents in which mobile phones (cell phones) ignited fumes during fuelling operations.

In the first case, the phone was placed on the car's trunk lid during fuelling, it rang, and the ensuing fire destroyed the car and the fuel pump.

In the second, an individual suffered sever burns to the thigh and groin as fumes ignited as they answered a call while refuelling their car.

And the third, individual suffered burns to the thigh and groin as fumes ignited when the phone, which was in their pocket, rang while they were fuelling 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 fuelling 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, fuels, grain dust, etc.)

To sum it up, here are the: Four Rules for Safe Refuelling
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 fuelling

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 fuel 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. A significant proportion were blonde.

2. Almost all cases involved the person getting back in their vehicle while the nozzle was still pumping fuel. When finished, they went back to pull the nozzle out and the fire started, as a result of static.

2. 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 fuel.
6. It is the vapours that come out of the fuel 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 refuelling 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 fuel cap was removed and before fuelling began.

Mr. Renkes stresses to NEVER get back into your vehicle while filling it with fuel.

If you absolutely HAVE to get in your vehicle while the fuel is pumping, make sure you get out, close the door TOUCHING THE METAL, before you ever pull the nozzle. This way the static from your body will be discharged before you ever remove the nozzle.

As I mentioned earlier, The Petroleum Equipment Institute, along with several other companies now, are really trying to make the public aware of this danger. You can find out more information by going to: Once here, click in the centre of the screen where it says "Stop Static".

ACTUALLY,, 'stop static', is in the top right, along with a message stipulating that 'static electricity' is not pertaining to mobile 'phones. Moreover, it is the action of getting back in your vehicle, whilst still pumping fuel...Now, back to the post.

I ask you to please send this information to ALL you family and friends, especially those who have kids in the car with them while pumping fuel. If this were to happen to them, they may not be able to get the children out in time. Thanks for passing this along.



Safe and happy cleaningSmiley


Posted by Dave_Parry (Dave Parry), 9 December 2003
Most if not all garages have warnings on their pumps saying that the use of mobile phones on forecourts is banned. Probably a offence as well. (everything else seems to be)
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 10 December 2003

There was a report in a UK paper just a week or so ago which seemed to expose this as a myth

Somehow they operated mobile telephone on a forecourt gradually building up the number of telephones to quite a high number....nothing happened!

Who do you believe?

Posted by Jim_Lynch (Jim_Lynch), 10 December 2003

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 10 December 2003
Whether it is right or wrong, I think i will leave the mobile in the car Shocked

Steve Lowe
Posted by Scots_cleaner (Scots_cleaner), 10 December 2003
They done a test on the tv program BRAINIAC

They covered a caravan in petrol ( inside) then put a mobile inside a started to ring it nothing happened so they put another 9 phones in the caravan and rung them all at once nothing!
SO they blu it up another way..

Huh Huh Huh Huh
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 10 December 2003
The impression I got from Shorty's article was that although mobiles in themselves present a hazard, as acknowledged by the petrol and phone companies, the greatest dangers come from static where the fuel cap is left open whilst the driver returns to the vehicle to answer the phone. On leaving the vehicle, the resulting static discharge can be lethal.

Safe and happy cleaningSmiley

Posted by Plymouth_Cleaning (Plymouth_Cleaning), 10 December 2003

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