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Following safe vehicle refueling could save you and your family. Click here to link to a video of an actual refueling fire on the PEI website 

Static electricity is a most interesting natural phenomenon.  Many fires and explosions have been caused by failure to control static discharges.  The fire shown below was initiated by static electricity generated during refueling of a tank truck.

Guardian Services' course in explosion prevent, which is offered to our industrial clients, has a unit on static electricity in the workplace.  

Fires initiated by static discharge are not, however, confined to the work place.  The everyday act of refueling a vehicle sometimes leads to devastating fires caused by static discharge.  Every consumer should be aware of and follow safe practices while refueling their vehicles. 

The Petroleum Equipment Institute has documented over 150 fires in very recent years caused by static discharge during refueling automobiles.  The PEI's three rules for safe refueling are: 

  1. turn off the vehicle's engine
  2. don't smoke
  3. do not re-enter your vehicle while refueling.

Rule number 3 is too often ignored during winter when people start pumping gas then re-enter the vehicle to keep warm as the tank fills.  As one slides out of the vehicle to remove the filling nozzle, static charges can develop on one's body - static charges which can discharge to the filling nozzle and cause ignition of fuel vapors.  The PEI reports that "Seventy-two (72) fires occurred when the fueler returned to the vehicle during the refueling process and then touched the nozzle after leaving the vehicle."  

The PEI and API web pages give details on safe practices - including how to handle "rule 3" during the cold winter weather.

Please click the links below:

PEI Stop Static page

API report - Fires at Refueling Sites

These links are provided solely for the convenience of our visitors.  GSI is not associated with either the API or the PEI and is not responsible for the content of the information on linked web pages. 

Last revised 08/29/16

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