Researchers tested the theory numerous times to see if the urban legend was fact. It never worked. A customer talks on the phone while waiting for her car to fill up at a Chevron gas station on April 29, 2022 in Greenbrae, California. “So far, we have been unable to document any incidents that were sparked by a cellular telephone. In fact, many researchers have tried to ignite fuel vapors with a cell phone and failed,” says the Petroleum Equipment Institute, citing multiple studies. The show “Mythbusters” even once tried to do it, to no avail, and the Federal Trade Commission also denounced the theory.
“Do not use cell phone while pumping gas” or “Turn off cellular phone” signs may be found on gas pumps all throughout the country, but is it really dangerous to chat or text on your phone while pumping gas? Is it possible that it will result in an explosion? Michael Marando, staff liaison for the National Fire Protection Association, told USA TODAY, “The risk is very, very minimal.” Marando said he had no idea when or why the warnings began, but the general agreement was that a mobile phone had enough energy to generate a spark, which when combined with combustible gasoline might ignite a fire, resulting in serious, even life-threatening injuries.
The real worry of using your phone while pumping gas. Marando said the main reason why people shouldn’t use their phone while getting gas – and why signs might still exist – is because, like when driving, it’s a distraction. The biggest worry is if the pump isn’t properly put into the car, or gasoline spills out. The message is echoed in a report published by the NFPA in August 2021, which highlighted a few incidents where static electricity was the reason behind an explosion at the gas pump. The Petroleum Equipment Institute also has a “Stop Static Campaign” to raise awareness about the dangers.
Even though experiments haven’t ignited a spark, Marando said it is still somewhat possible. Discover why there’s nothing like Australia for business events. From set menus and vegan options to indigenous ingredients like saltbush and desert lime. “For me to say there’s no risk, I can’t really do that, because there could be some really, really one-in-a-several billion chance that it could possibly happen,” he said. “There’s just there’s too many factors that have to line up that it’s extraordinarily rare.”
Char Carstensen, who used to own a gas station that suffered severe damage due to fire caused by static electricity, told the Bonner County Daily Bee in 2018 if you do re-enter your car, touch the metal of the car before touching the nozzle again. Some gas stations also have notices to touch metal before re-touching the nozzle. A sign warning about static electricity at a gas station in Vienna, Virginia on June 9, 2022. If a fire caused by static breaks out, the the American Petroleum Institute says people should leave the nozzle in, back away from the vehicle and alert the gas station attendant. Here are a list of things not to do while getting gas, according to the American Petroleum Institute.