New Labels Warn of Hazard at Gas Pump

New Labels Warn of Hazard at Gas Pump

Save Story

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Ed Yeates reporting A new label is popping up on thousands of gas pumps throughout the west.

The stickers warn motorists of a hazard many are unaware exists.

At a service station in Oklahoma, a woman was killed in an explosion when she simply and unknowingly set off a static electrical charge.

Gerald Tedrow/Western Petroleum Marketing Association: "Just getting in and out of your car is one way to create static electricity. When you walk inside your house and touch something, you know you've created electricity. The same thing is true in your car."

If you look closely at video from the Oklahoma incident, the motorist reopened the door of her Camaro just before the explosion.

Though static fireballs like these are still extremely rare, they're erupting just enough to warrant the new labels.

So now, in addition to NO SMOKING and TURNING THE ENGINE OFF, when you pull up, make sure your cell phone is off and leave it in the car, depart and close door."

Once outside, as you start filling the tank, don't re-enter the vehicle. That could release a static charge.

Tedrow: "The best thing to do is stay right at your car and keep that nozzle right in the tank."

Remember, static electricity naturally occurs as gas flows through the hose, but it safely discharges through contact with metal on the nozzle and metal on the car.

Don't fill up separate plastic gas containers in the bed of a pickup truck or the trunk of a car.

Remove the container and fill it on the ground.

Some experts say an increase of man-made materials in our cars, on the seats, in our clothes and in the soles of our shoes may be contributing to the static electricity problem.

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast