Refueling Safety

image of nozzle for refueling gasoline vehiclesMost of us drive vehicles that use gasoline for fuel. If you are like me, we probably notice the signs at the pump island that tell us to stop our engines before refueling but don't give it much more thought than that. Perhaps the reader that suggested this topic is doing us all a favour.

Static Electricity

The greatest hazard present when we refuel is static electricity. It is created by flowing fuel and our movements in and out of the vehicle. To minimize the hazard never re-enter your vehicle and then return to the nozzle while filling your tank. If you are filling a container, but it on the ground near the pump. Never fill a container while it is in your vehicle.

Hot Sources on the Vehicle

Hot sources of ignition are the next greatest hazard. It is mandatory that you shut off your engine, extinguish smoking materials and turn off RV pilot lights before refueling.

Don't Overfill

Never prop the nozzle control open with anything but the latch built into the nozzle if it is present. When the nozzle shuts off indicating that the tank is full, stop. Overfilling can lead to fuel expansion and an overflow that could result in a fire.

Legal Containers Only

It is illegal to fill anything but an proper gasoline container. Safety conscious service stations will refuse to allow you to put gasoline in anything but an approved container.

When filling, put the container on the ground, use manual control and always keep the nozzle in contact with the container. Seal the container properly, transport and store it in a cool place.

Be aware that bylaws that may control storage of gasoline at your home.

Cell Phone Use

There is some indication that using a cell phone while fueling your vehicle may be dangerous as well. To err on the side or caution, it may be wise not to talk on your cell while filling the tank. The fact checking website Snopes says that these reports of danger are false.

Refueling Diesels

In some circumstances, this advice may not apply to the refuel of diesel powered vehicles.

Learn More

Share This Article

I am under the impression that in the province of B.C. you are not allowed to have self serve stations with the latch that allows you to leave the pump running unattended. Over the last few years I have noticed that stations owned by Parkland have these type of pump handles.

Can anyone tell me if this is legal?

During the days when propane was popular you were required to take a couse and be certified to fill your own vehicle. Is this the same with hydrogen?

At one time there were signs banning the use of cell phones while fuelling you car. Some signs have been removed and others faded away. You still see people making that "important call" while fuelling up! I always compared it to people while holding the fuel nozzle. Thankfully that seems to have passed.

Question. What happens if one drives away with the fuelling nozzle still in the car? I imagine there must be an automatic shut off at the pump.