Cell phone use at the pump could spark a dangerous situation

By: Ashley Prchal Email
By: Ashley Prchal Email
Talking on your cell phone or sitting in your car while pumping gas could be dangerous.

A motorist fuels up at a gas station in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Tuesday, May 27, 2008. Oil prices dropped below $129 a barrel Tuesday, falling sharply on a growing sense that soaring gas and oil prices have cut demand for fuel during the normally busy summer driving season. At the pump, meanwhile, retail gasoline prices rose, but only slightly, leading to renewed speculation that gas may follow the normal seasonal pattern of peaking around Memorial Day and then declining over the summer. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Talking on your cell phone or sitting in your car while pumping gas could be dangerous.

Most everyone knows that smoking at the pump is dangerous and not allowed, but what about talking on your cell phone?

There should now be warning signs at Colorado gas stations telling you to keep your cellular phones off or in your vehicle while you're filling up. Experts say there's a chance your cell phone's electrical current could ignite a spark at your pump and that's something gas stations take very seriously.

Ralph Trobiani is the assistant manager at the Sinclair station on 25 Road in Grand Junction where talking on your cell while fueling isn't allowed. "We have to shut off the pump immediately and then step outside and ask them either to get off their phone or hang up the pump," he says.

In addition to warnings against cell phones, experts also warn against static electricity. When you sit in your car, clothing's friction against a car seat could build static electricity. That static can be transferred to the pump and cause a flame.

Grand Junction's Fire Department Battalion Chief Duncan Brown says to avoid any risk of fire, when you get out of your vehicle, make sure you're grounded.

Brown says to touch the body of your vehicle before starting to fuel and that should prevent any electricity from transferring to the pump.


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