1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest


    1. I am looking for information regarding an alleged incident in which it was reported that a driver suffered burns and his car severely damaged when gasoline fumes ignited while he was talking on his cellular telephone standing near the attendant who was pumping the gas.

    2. Apparently related to this incident is the report that Exxon has begun placing warning stickers against use of cellular telephones in their facilities.

    3. Any information regarding this would be appreciated.

    R. Clark

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I just got a new cell phone over the weekend...a Qualcomm QCP820, and the owner's manual specifically states not to use the phone at filling stations, and also to turn it off when seeing the "Turn Two Way Radios Off -- Blasting" signs.

    Most (all?) cell phones are not intrisically safe, and pose an explosion hazard -- is it likely? No. Can happen? Sure.

    But I would say the likelyhood is very, very low for just the right conditions to occur...and somehow most of these stories have a distinct Urban Legend feel since they involve "someone in Europe" or "someone in India"

    Ever notice that fire service radios, pagers, and flashlights have (or should have!) a note on them saying "Intrisically safe..." Means they shouldn't generate a spark that would ignite an explosive atmosphere. Most consumer and commercial items aren't!

    "N1QLU" and other alpha-bits

    [This message has been edited by Dalmation90 (edited June 29, 1999).]

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Just saw a clip on local news about the cell phone danger at the gas pump, and how some stations are begining to put warning labels on the pumps. I only caught the end of the story, so I don't know if they were relating this because of an event, or just running fillers on a slow news day.

    Of course this is just another sign for the portion of the public that keeps fire/EMS personnel busy to ignore. I don't expect that it will be too long before I see someone pumping gas while smoking and talking on a cell phone.

    If it wasn't for people doing stupid things, apparatus would spend a lot more time in the station.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    They had a big thing in our company about this and sent out warnings to people. I think it is only common sense to know that when you are operating an electrical device in a potentially explosive atmosphere, you should NOT use that device. This is the same reason the signs say TURN OFF ENGINE WHEN REFUELING VEHICLE. Common sense could save a lot of headaches. Be safe and be Smart.


  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Common sense, well that will keep 40% out of trouble, but what about the other 60%. Running engines are very common at the pumps, followed closely by smoking.

    But then again how smart is someone that is smoking anywhere?

    America is being over run with warning labels to the point they are no longer effective. After seeing your 50th warning label of the day, do anyone even see them anymore?

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    At a USAF base in Germany, the use of a cell phone while pumping gas was the suspected cause of a car fire at the gas pump. At all military gas stations in Europe, cell phones are prohibited while at the pumps.

    Contact the Ramstein Air Base Fire Dept
    Unit 3180 Box 300
    APO AE 09095
    DSN 480 2348

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    In Ireland, Particuarlly Dublin, Cell phones are banned at fuel stations, all pumps have signs up, " switch off cell phones......".
    It has to be obvious to us guys, fuel vapours in abudance comming from your fuel cap on the car as you fill, your phone on your belt,on your hip, at the same level as the filler cap, Phone activates, tiny tiny electrical activity in phone that is covered in fuel vapour, explosion or flash to fuel tank, maybe, just maybe.
    Stay safe,

  8. #8
    Jim M.
    Firehouse.com Guest


    If you'd like some interesting information on this "urban legend" check out snopes.com. An urban legend is a story that makes the rounds where the origin can never quite be pinned down. It "sounds true" so "it must have happened somewhere". While this explosion is theoretically possible, I think the odds of being struck by lightning are substantially higher. If I remember correctly, around 100 people a year die from lightning.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    Jim M.

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