Winter Safety Tips for Refuelling

Winter Safety Tips for Refuelling bb3 Dec 12, 2014

By Staff Writer

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Thanks to dry air and cold weather, static electricity increases in the winter months. Though it’s primarily annoying, it can ignite fuel at the gas pump. Consider these winter safety tips while refuelling.

Winter Safety Tips for Refuelling

Static Buildup at the Pump

You may be tempted to jump back into your warm vehicle while filling up, but don’t. Your body sliding across the seat creates friction, and if you touch a good conductor — such as a metal pump — that static buildup can release and ignite the fuel.

Safe Fuelling Practices

Remaining outside your vehicle is the best way to prevent gas pump fires. If you must go back into your vehicle, touch a metal object before touching the pump. Also, when filling portable gas containers, set them on the ground to reduce the transfer of static electricity.

Here are a few more gas station safety tips:

  • Follow Canadian laws: Turn your vehicle off when refuelling and never smoke within 7.5 metres of the pump.

  • Don’t top off the tank — fuel could overflow, a gas station hazard.

  • Only use portable gasoline containers approved by the Canadian Standards Association or Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada.

  • Don’t let children refuel vehicles or play around gas pumps.

How to Handle a Pump Fire

A gas pump fire can be scary, but responding appropriately can help minimize any damage.

Know how to react in an emergency

1. Leave the nozzle in the gas tank to prevent spreading the fire.

2. Back away from your vehicle and notify the station attendant immediately.

3. If no one is available, locate and push the emergency shutdown button.