Though gas pump accidents are rare, it is important to be aware of the inherent dangers of fueling your tank. To avoid potential fueling hazards, follow these safety guidelines:
- Turn off your engine before beginning to refuel.
- Never smoke, light matches or use lighters when refueling at the pump or when you are using gasoline anywhere else.
- Stay outside of your vehicle while you are refueling in case something goes wrong and you need to press the emergency stop button.
- In similar fashion, re-entering your car while refueling can result in static electricity build-up. In theory, this build-up can release enough energy to provide a spark.
- Never use your cellphone or other electronic devices while filling up your tank. Static electricity from the device can cause the fuel to ignite if phones or other devices light up when they ring.
- When dispensing gasoline into a container, only use an approved portable container. Place it on the ground when you are filling it up to avoid a possible static electricity ignition of the gasoline vapors. Never fill these containers in your car or on the bed of a pickup truck.
In the event that static electricity does cause a fire to occur, leave the nozzle in the fill pipe and move away from your vehicle. Then, notify the station attendant immediately so they can rectify the problem and call for assistance.