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5 Gas-Station Dangers

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5 Gas-Station Dangers

By Allison Ford, DivineCaroline

In what may be one of Hollywood’s most truly tragic death scenes, three really, really ridiculously good-looking male models meet a fiery end at a gas station. The trio is innocently cavorting and spraying each other with gasoline when one of them has the unfortunate urge to light a cigarette and … KABOOM.

Freak gasoline-fight accidents aside, fires, especially those caused by static electricity, are a serious safety concern at service stations. The potent mixture of gasoline, diesel, and other volatile chemicals on the premises—just waiting to be ignited by an errant spark—makes these seemingly boring businesses potential powder kegs. To reduce the chances of reenacting your own version of Zoolander, follow these simple tips for safe pumping.

1. Don’t get back in your car.
Many drivers make the mistake of getting back into their cars to wait for the pump to finish. In fact, drivers who get in and out of their cars are responsible for about 50 percent of filling-station static fires, according to the Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI). As the driver slides across the seat, she is more likely to build up static electricity on her body. Once she touches the gas pump, a spark could ignite spilled gasoline or its vapors. Interestingly, women trigger about 80 percent of static fires. Some experts believe this is because of women’s increased propensity for getting back into their cars to tend to children or to look for a purse or wallet. It could also simply be that women, more than men, prefer not to wait outside when the weather’s bad. Cold weather is especially conducive to static electricity, so cold-weather drivers (men and women alike) should be extra careful to wait outside their cars while pumping gas. If you must get back into your car while refueling, be sure to touch a piece of metal (such as the car’s door frame) when you get out; this will safely discharge any static buildup you may have accumulated before you touch the gas nozzle.

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DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

214 comments

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11:37AM PDT on Aug 23, 2011

Thanks

6:27PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

thanks

5:11PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

thk u for this

5:11PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

thk u for this

1:55PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

@ Munees On Care2 you don't need proof, just a strong opinion and/or a bias towards one issue or another. If the authors of these articles actually needed to prove what they write about, there wouldn't be much to read. It's all about outrage and emotion- check intellect at the door. I'm still waiting for the biggest food recall in human history as was presented as fact in this forum going on 7 months ago or thereabouts. The headline screamed it and it wasn't an if but a when. Other stuff tales a grain of truth and fluffs it into a mountain range that would rival the Andes. There are some good thoughtful people here, but most will be among the comments. Few are among the authors. Another goodie recently claimed Brazil's government was promoting sex tourism in its headline. Nowhere was there a single bit of evidence in the article. It said nothing new or original, just droned on about prostitution with such amazing facts as some prostitutes fear their pimps, underage girls are used as prostitutes, and groups that help prostitutes report there are many sad stories the prostitutes tell. Not exactly news and not exclusive to Brazil. But, it's a good way to claim you are an Internet News Reporter working for a Human Rights/Animal Rights/Ecolological/Environmental/ Blog and impress friends and relatives. All that's required is study a few supermarket tabloids to learn how to exaggerate, make stuff up, and sensationalize things. Then write away! Not all, but far too many do that!

12:19PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

Informative article.

2:01AM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

thanks. but what is the proof?

3:37PM PDT on Aug 9, 2010

.

8:07AM PDT on Aug 9, 2010

people do all of these all the time. and get testy (sometimes aggressive) when cautioned.

while ringing cellphones may not be a problem, there have been cases whereby faulty phone batteries heat up at a gas station while refuelling and then ignite vapours. i know of one person who has personally experienced it. his phone was toast, but fortunately the vapours burned off without igniting a bigger source.

2:26PM PDT on Aug 8, 2010

thanks for advices, but most of them are well known (or should be well known :-))

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