Static Electricity at the Pump
You get out of your car to get gas and as you close your car door…zap! You feel a shock. This is caused by static electricity.
While the static shock may be unpleasant, it is important to discharge the static from your body before touching the gas pump nozzle. On rare occasions, the static electricity spark can ignite the gasoline vapors causing a fire.
Static electricity is more common during cool or cold and dry weather although it may occur at any time. Static electricity is a natural occurring phenomenon and is not unique to the service station environment.
Preventing a Static Fire
Before using the pump, touch metal or the car door with your bare hand. This will discharge static electricity on your body and will prevent possible fire.
Once the gasoline is pumping, do not get back into your vehicle. This can recharge your body with static electricity. If you must get back into your vehicle, discharge static electricity again before touching the pump nozzle.
Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices
Some cell phone manufacturers have cautioned their customers to switch off their cell phones while pumping gas because of the remote possibility that the cell phone could act as a source of static electricity.