Cell Phones and Static Electricity when Fuelling
The Shell Oil company recently issued a warning after three incidents in which mobile (cell) phones ignited fumes during fuelling operations. In the first case, a telephone was placed on the car's trunk lid during fuelling; it rang and the ensuing fire destroyed the car and the gasoline pump. In the second, an individual suffered severe burns to the face when fumes ignited as he answered a call while refuelling his car. In the third, an individual suffered burns to the thigh and groin as fumes ignited when the phone, which was in a front pocket, rang while the was fuelling his car.
Mobile phones, particularly those that light up when switched on or ring, can ignite fuel fumes as they release enough energy to provide a spark for ignition. They should be turned off in filling stations and when fuelling boats and around materials that generate flammable or explosive fumes or dust (e.g. solvents, chemicals, gasses, grain dust).
Four Basic Rules for Safe Fuelling:
- Turn off engine
- Don't smoke
- Don't use your cell phone or turn it on or off, leave it inside the boat.
- Don't re-enter your vessel during fuelling.
To find out more go to the Petroleum Equipment Institute website www.pei.org