Static electricity in Petrol Stations
With the generalisation of self-service facilities in petrol stations people should be warned about the outbreak of fires resulting from static electricity while they are pouring in petrol.
150 cases of this type of fire have been investigated and the results were very surprising.
1- Of the 150 cases, more happened to women than men, due to their habit of getting in and out of the vehicle while the petrol is being poured in.
2- In the majority of cases the people had re-entered their cars when the hose was still pouring petrol out (the danger of the triggers on the nosepieces). When they finished refuelling and got out to remove the hose pistol the fire began, as a result of the static electricity.
3- The majority of those affected used rubber-soled footwear and clothes of synthetic fibres.
4- Never use mobile phones when filling up with fuel.
5- It is well known that it is the vapour that comes from the petrol that burns and causes the fire when it makes contact with static charges.
6- In twenty-nine of the cases analysed, the people re-entered their vehicles and later touched the pistols during the petrol fuelling process. This happened in cars of different varieties of makes and models.
7- Seventeen fires occurred before, during or immediately after the cap of the petrol tank was removed and before starting to fill up with petrol.
8- The static charge often results from when a passenger rubs their clothes against the upholstery of the seats on getting in or out of the vehicle. To avoid this, it is recommendable that NOBODY gets in or out of the vehicle while the petrol is being poured in. Movement in or out should only be done BEFORE starting, or when the fuelling is finished and the petrol cap placed.
9- MAXIMISE THE PRECAUTIONS if the petrol has spilt or splashed onto the ground. Highly inflammable vapours are immediately produced which can be ignited by sparks of static electricity from the turning on of electronic equipment (mobile phones, remote controls, etc.) or by the ignition of the vehicle itself. BEFORE starting up the engine again, the spilt petrol must be gathered or neutralised by the petrol station staff.
LOADING PETROLIN YOUR VEHICLE:
Stop, put the handbrake on and turn off the engine, radio and lights
NEVER: Never return to your vehicle while you are pouring in fuel.
AS A PRECAUTION:
Get used to closing the car door on getting out or into the vehicle and in this way the static electricity will be discharged on touching something metallic.
After closing the door TOUCH THE METAL PART OF THE BODYWORK before touching the petrol pump pistol. By doing this the static electricity in your body will be discharged on the metal and not on the pistol.
RESPECT THE SAFETY REGULATIONS
As mentioned, we undertake this as a daily task, both inside and outside the company. The following bulletin aims to raise public awareness of this danger.