Petrol Station Safety must be of key concern to motorists. There are 4 big things to watch: FIRE – HEALTH – DRIVING SLOWLY – PEDESTRIAN SAFETY!
Here is the link to a good article, describing what can happen: http://www.emirates247.com/crime/local/careless-customer-causes-fire-in-petrol-station-2014-06-27-1.554501
How to do it right:
AT FULL SERVICE STATIONS:
- Ignition: Turn off your vehicle’s engine when refueling.
- Park: Put your vehicle in park (automatic) or 1st gear (manual) and/or use the hand brake.
- Fire: Don’t smoke, light matches or use lighters while refueling (not even inside the car!)
- Fire: Don’t use Mobile Phones
- Fire: to avoid static electric charge, do not get in & out of your vehicle (good video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJV0dg9jOYI). If you must get into the vehicle during refueling, discharge any static electricity by touching metal.
- Health: Gasoline and it’s fumes are highly toxic – stay in your car and keep the windows closed
- Kids: Keep kids inside the car and never allow a child to pump gas.
AT SELF SERVICE STATIONS (some stations turn into self-service stations from 12am to 6am and the authorities aim to expand the concept to more stations):
- Pay attention to what you’re doing – don’t engage in other activities.
- Use only the refueling latch on the gasoline dispenser nozzle, if there is one. Do not jam the latch with an object to hold it open.
- To avoid spills, do not top off or overfill your vehicle.
- After pumping gasoline, leave the nozzle in the tank opening for a few seconds to avoid drips when you remove it.
- If a fire starts while you’re refueling, don’t remove the nozzle from the vehicle or try to stop the flow of gasoline. Leave the area immediately and call for help.
- Start: only AFTER refueling, start your engine and move your vehicle.
- Slow: Service station are busy places! Drive super slowly and be aware of moving vehicles and pedestrians
Other IMPORTANT POINTS:
- PEDESTRIANS: if you walk to the convenience store, car wash, garage or other shops at the filling station, watch out for moving vehicles
- CONVENIENCE STORE / TOILETS: finish pumping the petrol first, then proceed to the dedicated parking slots. It’s good etiquette to not wander off and leave your car at the pump – you block the pump and other motorists who wait behind you to refuel.
- AIR & WATER: if you are outside your vehicle checking/filling Air & Water, be careful and pay attention to moving vehicles
- TANKERS: Stay away in safe distance when tankers fill the station’s underground tanks
- TANKERS: are big vehicles – give them room to maneuver safely
- GET OFF: Always get off your motorcycle prior to and during refueling.
- STEADY BIKE: Keep your motorbike steady is crucial when refueling.
- DON’T OVERFILL: allow some space in the tank so that if the temperature increases the fuel can expand without overflowing.
- FIRE: The fuel tank is close to the engine, so the risk of ignition is higher.
- ETIQUETTE: Remove your helmet before entering a store.
- Use only approved portable containers for transporting or storing gasoline. Make sure the container is in a stable position.
- Never fill a portable container when it is in or on the vehicle. Always place the container on the ground first. Fires caused by static charges have occurred when people filled portable containers in the back of pick-up trucks, particularly those with plastic bed liners. Removing the container will also prevent a dangerous spill of gasoline.
- When filling a portable container, keep the nozzle in direct contact with the container. Fill it only about 95 percent full to leave room for expansion.
Health: Gasoline and it’s fumes are highly toxic – stay in your car and keep the windows closed
So what about the attendants? Why aren’t we recommending that they wear breathing equipment
Ignition: Turn off your vehicle’s engine when refueling
Is this because of potential sparks from the ignition system? How is this risk averted when the car is arriving or departing, the fumes are still present, even when fuel is not being pumped into your specific car.
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Fuel nozzle nowadays are designed to recover fuel vapors while dispensing fuel (Vapor Recovery System). In VRS, the escape of fuel vapors is eliminated thus minimizing the health risk. Staying in upwind direction is also one operational control that can be done to prevent inhalation of fumes.
Yes, vehicle exhaust and other part of the engine is potential source of ignition during fueling and you are right, there might be fuel vapors present in the area. However, ignition will only take place when air/fuel mixture is correct. Ignition of fuel vapors could also occur anywhere in a fuel station, if enough amount of fuel vapors is present say due to loss of containment. Moreover, switching off engines while fueling will not only eliminate ignition sources which potentially cause catastrophic fire but also avoiding other risks such detached nozzles incidents. Though, this will be challenging during summer months in some part of the world such as GCC.
Thanks for your valuable comments!
Drive safely and kind regards,
Your RoadSafetyUAE Team