You practice safe habits on the road, but do you do the same when fueling at the pump? There’s no reason to take any shortcuts. Don’t put you or your family at risk. While static electricity-fueled fires are unusual, they are more likely to occur in cool or cold and dry climate conditions. Consumers can take matters into their own hands by following safe refueling procedures year-round in all weather conditions.
The first and perhaps most important rule is to never get back into your vehicle during refueling. While it may be tempting to do this, staying outside the vehicle can reduce the amount of static produced and therefore curb the risk of a fire. If for some reason, it’s necessary to get back into the cabin, it’s best to always first touch a metal part of the vehicle with a bare hand, such as the door, away from the fill point upon exiting the vehicle.
Another word of caution: put that cellphone away while you are fueling up. While there aren’t any verifiable incidents of a cell phone causing a fire at a gas station, a gas station is a higher risk area. Why? Because there are explosive vapors (not fumes). According to National Fire Protection Association rules, you’re not supposed to use electronic materials, i.e. cellphones at gas pumps. That phone call, email or text can wait 5 minutes while you complete the transaction. (We’re talking to you, especially teen drivers!)
Fuel smart every time and you won’t regret it.