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Posted on June 1, 2017

Service Station Safety Tips for Fire Prevention

Service stations are fire-prone areas, what with gasoline, fumes, and static electricity to contend with. On average, more than 5,000 service station fires ignite in the US per year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This causes annual averages of two civilian deaths, 48 civilian injuries, and $20 million in property damage.

Fortunately, structure fires and outdoor/other fires at service stations decreased by 70 percent between 1980 and 2008. However, vehicle fires at service stations rose steadily from 1980 until the late 1990s, and even with the decline in the 2000s, vehicle fires were still nearly one-third higher in 2008 than they were in 1980. Today, vehicle fires account for 61 percent of all service station fires.

The key to making our nation’s 117,000 service stations safer is to follow specific safety tips for fire prevention. Here’s what to keep in mind every time you fuel up your car or refill portable gasoline containers.

Refuel Your Vehicle Safely

  • Turn off your car before refueling.
  • Never allow a child to pump gas.
  • Don’t smoke, light a match, or use a lighter when refueling your car.
  • Remain undistracted while pumping gas. This is the process of transferring a hazardous substance from one place to another, and it demands your full attention.
  • Refrain from using a cell phone, computer, or portable radio while refueling. If you must use electronic devices, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use at service stations.
  • Never jam the refueling latch on the dispenser nozzle with an object to hold it open. Instead, use the built-in notches if those are present.
  • Refrain from getting in and out of your vehicle while the gas is pumping. If you must reenter the car, touch a metal surface of the vehicle far away from the nozzle to discharge static buildup.
  • Don’t “top off” the tank as this could lead to spills or overfilling your vehicle.
  • Once refueling is complete, leave the nozzle in the tank for a few seconds to avoid drips.

Refill Portable Gasoline Containers Safely

  • Only transport and store gasoline in an approved portable container with the cap intact.
  • Never fill gas cans inside a vehicle or in the bed of a truck. Static charges can build up and start a fire. Instead, set the container on the ground and make sure it’s in a stable position before filling it.
  • Keep the nozzle in direct contact with the container as you fill it. Manually control the flow, filling the container slowly to decrease static electricity.
  • Don’t top off the gas can. Stop at about 95 percent full to allow for expansion.
  • Place the cap on tightly.
  • Secure the container before transporting it to guard against tipping and sliding.
  • Never leave a gas can in direct sunlight or the trunk of your car.

What to Do if a Fire Occurs While Refueling

  • Don’t remove the nozzle from the vehicle.
  • Press the emergency shut-off button on the gas pump.
  • Immediately notify the station attendant of the fire.

Schedule Fire Protection Services with Kauffman Co.

Whether you own a service station in Houston and want to make it safer, or you’re concerned about fire prevention at your home or building, Kauffman Co. is here for you. We provide fire and life safety services to residents and businesses throughout the Houston area.

Our team can meet all your fire protection needs thanks to our expert technicians and over 35 years of industry experience. Count on us for everything from fire extinguishers to fire alarms to automatic fire suppression systems. Simply call 713-893-1090 or contact us online for a free service estimate.

We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas (TX) in:

  • Alvin
  • Angleton
  • Austin
  • Baytown
  • Beaumont
  • Bellaire
  • Clute
  • Conroe
  • Deer Park
  • Dickinson
  • Freeport
  • Friendswood
  • Galena Park
  • Galveston
  • Houston
  • Humble
  • Huntsville
  • Jacinto City
  • Katy
  • La Marque
  • La Porte
  • Lake Charles, LA
  • Lake Jackson
  • League City
  • Missouri City
  • Orange
  • Pasadena
  • Pearland
  • Port Arthur
  • Richmond
  • Rosenberg
  • San Antonio
  • Schulenburg
  • South Houston
  • Stafford
  • Sugar Land
  • Texas City
  • The Woodlands
  • Victoria
  • Waco
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
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