Follow these tips to stay safe at the pump. You’ll be surprised of what you should and should not be doing while gassing up your auto.
10. Getting Back into Your Vehicle During Refueling
If you’ve ever done this before, STOP it! Seriously. You don’t realize how dangerous this is. When you get back into your car while refueling, it could potentially cause a flash fire. That’s because exiting and re-entering a vehicle causes static electricity buildup–this is especially true during cool, cold and dry weather conditions. And, when you get back out of your car and touch the pump’s nozzle, the static may discharge and mix with gasoline vapors, thereby causing a flash fire, or perhaps even a small sustained fire.
TIP: If you absolutely must get back in your vehicle during refueling, make sure that when you get out you touch something metal–your vehicle’s door, for example–with your bare hand before reaching for the nozzle. And, whatever you touch, make sure it’s something that’s nowhere near the nozzle. And, if by chance a flash fire should occur, leave the nozzle in the fill pipe, back away from the car, and notify the station attendant immediately, so they can shut off all the pumps. If the station is unattended, use the emergency shutdown button to shut off the pump and the emergency intercom to call for help.
DID YOU KNOW?
Most refueling fire victims are women. They often return to their cars to get warm, check on the kids, get money out of their purse, put their credit card back in their purse, write a check, put on lipstick, write down the odometer reading, or use their cell phone.
9. Using Your Cell Phone
Speaking of cell phones, do you have any idea why so many gas stations have posted signs warning against the use of cell phones at the fuel pump? It’s not the reason you think. Yes, there’s a slim chance of your cell phone causing an electrical spark, but that has never actually happened–at least not yet anyway. But, the reason why gas stations don’t want you gabbing away on your phone is because it’s distracting. When you’re not on your phone, you’re more focused and alert, and therefore less likely to overfill your tank or drive off with the pump nozzle still attached to your car.
8. Overfilling the Tank
Overfilling the tank can cause the gasoline to spill on the ground and on yourself. And, you definitely want to avoid getting gas on your skin (we’ll tell you why later). Another reason you don’t want to overfill your tank is because gasoline needs room to expand. And, when you overfill the tank, pressure can build up, and that can cause a dangerous gas leak. So, instead of trying to get the last little drop of gasoline in your tank, pay attention to the fuel tank shut-off valves. After all, they are there for a reason.