Dangers of Static Electricity
Static Electricity Causes Fires!
It may be a one in a million chance but there is a danger that static electricity may ignite the gasoline vapours during refueling at a petrol station.
People have been killed or severely hurt doing something as simple as refueling their vehicle or gas container. The killer providing the spark is sometimes ' Static Electricity'.
Static electricity can be generated by the friction of the gasoline being pumped into a vehicle or container or by you when you get out of the car or remove an article of clothing. Static charges are dangerous!
If static charges are allowed to discharge through the areas where there is petrol vapour a fire can occur. The results are frightening and may be devastating.
Most vehicle static fires are caused by a person re-entering the vehicle during refueling to get warm or get a credit card, etc. When they go back to the nozzle area they discharge their static in the vapour rich space around the refueling nozzle and BOOM!!
Sometimes the hose, nozzle or even the car can ignite the gasoline vapors from static discharges
Most gasoline container refueling fires due to static electricity are caused by the container not being filled on the ground but in the back of a truck, the trunk of a car or the step of a van, etc. There is then a potential difference between the petrol and the ground and a discharge spark can travel through it and ignite it.
Take a look at this BBC page...