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I bought a car a few days ago (pics are here) and the dealer handed me a sheet of paper from Shell Oil.  I'm not going to type out the two page letter, but the gist of it reads as follows:

“The Shell Oil Company recently issued a warning after three incidents in which mobile phones ignited fumes during fueling operations. 

In the first case, the phone was placed on the car's trunk lid during fueling; it rang and the ensuring fire destroyed the car and the gasoline pump.

In the second, an individual suffered severe burns to their face ....

In the third, an individual suffered burns to the thigh and groin as fumes ignited when the phone, which was in their pocket, rang while they were fueling their car. “

The letter goes on about all their research and findings, but in the end they offer these tips to keep you and your car safe:

1. Turn off engine

2. Don't smoke

3.Don't use your cell phone - leave it inside the vehicle or turn it off

4. Don't re-enter your vehicle during fueling

Posted on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 7:39 PM Tech News | Back to top


Comments on this post: Danger of using a cellphone while gassing up

# re: Danger of using a cellphone while gassing up
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What i dont get is when you turn your phone off it sends a signal to the network saying 'hey, im being switched off'. So you are guarenteed to be sending a signal, compared to the possibility that someone will ring you.
Left by Luke on Feb 09, 2005 6:46 AM

# re: Danger of using a cellphone while gassing up
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They did a feature on cell phone useage on a show called "Myth Busters" (not sure if its just a Canadian thing or not). There was NO WAY that they could get anything to explode from cell phone useage.

They used a variety of conditions, even tried to short out the battery directly. Nothing.

Myth Busted.
Left by Rob Chartier on Feb 09, 2005 10:14 AM

# re: Danger of using a cellphone while gassing up
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Not so sure I'd ignore the warning. The power company here issued a similar one and they stand by it so far. As strange as it seems, there was a show on tv where they put a torch into a pail of gas and no effect, but if you make a spark over top of a pail of gas, the fumes will ignite [DON'T try this at home! It was a safety-controled demo!]. Personally, I try to remember to leave my cell in the car and not opening/closing the door when gassing up.
Left by Peter on Mar 10, 2005 4:47 PM

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