Monday, December 15, 2008

Prevent Static Fires at the Petrol Pump

You probably know not to light up a cigarette when refueling your car. But there's another fire danger at the petrol pump you may not be aware of: static electricity.

According to a survey from the Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI), most static fires occur when people return to their cars during the refueling process. You can pick up an electrical charge when sliding in or out of your car. Then, when you touch a metal surface - like the gas cap or the fuel nozzle - you can create a spark. The spark, in turn, ignites the fumes from the gasoline.

Approximately 100 static-related petrol station fires occur each year, according to the research firm Fowler Associates - so your chances of being involved in one are slim. However, to keep yourself - and those around you - safe while filling your tank, the PEI suggests taking these three precautions:

1. Turn off your engine.
2. Don't smoke.
3. Never re-enter your vehicle while refueling.

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