Safety · Tips and Tricks

Stay Safe at the Pump

With the recent gasoline problems happening in North Carolina and the surrounding states, many people have been rushing to find gas, and fill up whenever they can. But don’t let the panic make you lose track of safety at the pump.

There’s always a risk when gas and other flammable liquids are around. Yet many of us forget about that when we’re fueling up at the gas station.

The main danger at a fueling pump is not the gas, but the gas vapors. Because gas vapors are heavier than air, trouble can happen if they come into contact with something flammable on the ground like a smoldering cigarette butt, a hot surface or even a static spark.

For these reasons, it’s worth keeping the following tips in mind when you’re fueling up:

  • Always turn off your car when you’re fueling.
  • Refrain from smoking or lighting a flame when you’re at a gas station. Open flames can easily turn into a recipe for disaster!
  • Stay close by when you’re filling up. Getting into your car and then touching the pump could result in a static charge. If you have to get into your car when you’re refueling, touch the exterior metal of your car before you grab the pump—doing so will help discharge any static charge you may have picked up on a car seat.
  • Pay attention to what you’re doing. It’s never a good idea to play Candy Crush when gallons of a highly flammable substance are flowing into your car!
  • Use approved gas containers—and use them the right way. (That would be outside of your vehicle , on a stable surface on the ground.) It’s also a good idea to touch the pump to the container to avoid a static electricity ignition and to fill it up to 95 percent to allow room for expansion.
  • Resist the urge to “top off” your tank with extra gas—doing so could cause a dangerous spill.
  • Give your hands a good wash when you’re done fueling up.
  • Leave the area immediately and call for help if a fire starts. Don’t try to remove the nozzle or cut off the gas before you leave.

Filling up the tank is something most people do pretty regularly. By keeping these tips in mind, you can help ensure you stay safe each time you do.

Original article by Amanda Prischak. Read more at Erieinsurance.com.

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