15 Mistakes You Make When Pumping Gasoline

3. Not Using Your Cell Phone

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This is more of a safety mistake. Since 1999, rumors alleged that cell phones start fires at the pump. Almost all experts agree this is not true. In 2010, Mythbusters, failed to get a cell phone to ignite gasoline vapors. This was substantiated in 2014 by Snopes and an ABC News report. Also, circa 2002, the American Petroleum Institute said, “We can find no evidence of someone using a cellphone causing any kind of accident, no matter how small, at a gas station anywhere in the world.” The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) made a similar statement. Of course, that was almost 15 years ago when phones were designed to be safe in gas stations. Why would that change? However (there’s always a “however”) the president of the Malaysian Petrol Dealers Association said there are studies that prove some older phones produce a magnetic field that can catch fire. There is also a video online of a cell phone igniting fuel-doused aluminum foil. (Not sure what the foil represents in terms of a gas station.) Are you more unsure than you were a minute ago? Read on. It seems the real culprit is…


4. Getting In And Out Of Car

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This is a big safety mistake. If you get out to pump your own gas, stay outside until you finish pumping and return the nozzle to the station pump. Getting back in the car to sit and wait can lead to potential danger! The vapors from the gasoline liquid are extremely flammable, and once you start the pump, vapors escape into the air. If you go back into the car, when you exit, it’s possible—unlikely but possible—that when you slide across the seat, a static electric charge can develop on your body. If this happens, when you reach for the pump, an unexpected spark can ignite the gasoline vapor. This has happened several times before, and sometimes it’s been blamed on cell phone use at the pump. If you must get back into the car, touch the body of your vehicle as soon as your feet hit the ground when you exit. The metal will discharge any static electricity on your body. Whew! Saved your life.