Static electricity related incidents at gasoline stations are extremely unusual, but they do occur.
The potential for a hazard is highest during cool, or cold and dry climate conditions. However, consumers should practice safe fueling procedures all year long.
Most importantly, people should not get back into their vehicle during refueling – even when using the nozzle’s hold- open latch.
Re-entering your vehicle during refueling increases the likelihood of a buildup of static electricity. When refueling is complete and you return to your vehicle fill pipe, the static may discharge at the fill point, causing a brief flash fire with gasoline refueling vapors.
Motorists who cannot avoid getting back into the vehicle during fueling, should always first touch a metal part of the vehicle, such as the door, orsome other metal surface, away from the fill point upon exiting the vehicle.
Additional refueling safety guidelines include:
• Turn off your vehicle engine while refueling. Put your vehicle in park and/or set the emergency brake. Disable or turn off any auxiliary sources of ignition such as a camper or trailer heater, cooking
units or pilot lights.
• Do not smoke, light matches or lighters while refueling at the pump or when using gasoline anywhere else.
• Never mix gasoline with kerosene or diesel fuel.
• Use only the refueling latch provided on the gasoline dispenser nozzle – never jam the refueling latch on the nozzle open.
• In the unlikely event a fire occurs when refueling, leave the nozzle in the fill pipe and back away from the vehicle. Notify the station attendant immediately.
• Do not overfill or top off your vehicle tank, which can cause gasoline spillage.
• Avoid prolonged breathing of gasoline vapors. Use gasoline only in areas that get plenty of fresh air. Keep your face away from the nozzle or container opening.
• When filling a portable container, manually control the nozzle valve throughout the filling process.
• Fill a portable container slowly to decrease the chance of static electricity buildup and minimize spilling or splattering.
• Only store gasoline in approved containers as required by federal or state authorities. Never store gasoline in glass or any other unapproved containers.
• When dispensing gasoline into a container, use only an approved portable container and place it on the ground when refueling to avoid a possible static electricity ignition of fuel vapors.
• Containers should never be filled while inside a vehicle or its trunk, the bed of a pickup truck or the floor of a trailer.
• Fill container no more than 95 percent full to allow for expansion.
• Place cap tightly on the container after filling – do not use containers that do not seal properly.
• If gasoline spills on the container, make sure that it has evaporated before placing the container in your vehicle.
• Report spills to the attendant.
• When transporting gasoline in a portable container make sure it is secured against tipping and sliding, and never leave it in direct sunlight or in the trunk of a car
• Never siphon gasoline by mouth nor put gasoline in your mouth for any reason. Gasoline can be harmful or
fatal if swallowed. If someone swallows gasoline, do not induce vomiting. Contact a doctor immediately.
• Use gasoline as a motor fuel only. Never use gasoline to wash your hands or as a cleaning solvent.
• Never allow children to operate the pump.