Following the recent fire outbreaks and explosions in fuel stations, we thought it wise to share these safety tips to help you around filling stations.
1. Turn off your engine when filling your tank
It’s common knowledge that you should turn off your engine before refuelling, but most of us don’t realise that it’s actually the law
When you’re filling your tank, ensure your engine is off and your keys are out of the ignition and in your pocket. This way, there’ll be no chance of anyone in the car accidentally turning on the engine when you’re part-way through the fill.
2. Don’t ever smoke, use a lighter or light a match
Obviously, smoking in any service station or using a lighter or matches is extremely dangerous behaviour, due to the risk of ignition and fire.
it is illegal for anyone (not just you as the driver) to smoke inside a service station. That includes smoking inside a parked vehicle with the windows up. You must, by law, put out any cigarettes before you enter the service station grounds.
3. Don’t use your mobile phone
Mobile phones have been known to cause sparks that can ignite petrol vapours. The reason we’re told not to use mobile phones at service stations is that mobiles have been known to cause sparks that can ignite petrol vapours. For these reason, it is best to leave your phone in your pocket or tucked away in your glove box while filling up your tank.
4. Discharge static electricity
A static electric charge can develop on your body as you slide across the seat, and when you reach for the pump, a spark can ignite petrol. Always tough the metallic body of your vehicle to discharge this.
5. Don’t let your kids fill your tank
Children should not refuel cars at petrol stations; they should be kept them buckled up inside the vehicle. Do not encourage them to refill or be near an adult who’s refueling.
6. Be aware potential theft
Theft at service stations does happen. It’s easy for a thief to quickly enter your unlocked car and grab items like a handbag, mobile phone or other valuables if they are left in plain sight when you go inside the store to pay for fuel or buy other items. Always lock your car when you’re refuelling and inside the service-station store.
7. Drive safely
Service stations are busy places. There are cars driving in and out as well as people walking to and from their cars, including parents with young children.
You should always drive slowly and cautiously in a service station. And of curse, make sure the nozzle has been placed back in the dispenser before you drive away.
8. Be careful when storing or handling petrol
If you are filling up a fuel container (as opposed to the tank in your vehicle), store it well out of the reach of any children and in a ventilated area.
What should service station staff or attendants know?
Service station attendants should know how to deal with situations such as leaks and spills as well as emergency evacuations they can do this through specified trainings.
Summarily, While emergencies at service stations are unlikely, you can avoid unsafe situations by being sensible when you are filling up your tank. If ever in doubt, you can speak to the manager on duty.