Gas Pump Safety

Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 7:50am

With the extreme cold temperatures and more snow predicted, it's a good idea to make sure you keep your gas tank at least half full. But extreme cold can also tempt drivers to do some things that can lead to a fire at the pump.

Despite warnings, some drivers still leave their engines running while refueling. It's one of the most common causes of fires at the gas pump, along with smoking while refueling.

A secondary concern is static electricity. That's most commonly caused when drivers start the pump, return to sit inside the vehicle and then get out again. Static is generated when they slide across the seat and a spark may occur when they reach for the nozzle.
Here's the best advice for safe fueling:

• Turn off Engine
• Don't Smoke
• Never re-enter your vehicle while pumping gas.
• If a fire starts while you're refueling, don't remove the nozzle from the vehicle or try to stop the flow of gasoline. Leave the area immediately and call for help.

If you need to get back in the car while refueling, touch a metal part of your car that is not near the fuel tank area before reaching for the gas nozzle. Touching a metal portion of your car will dispel any static charge that you may have created while pumping gas.

If one of your passengers does need to get out of the car while you are refueling they should avoid touching the gas pump nozzle. If they need to operate the pump they should touch a metal portion of your car before touching the nozzle.

  • Lori Wirth, 608-266-5947