Service stations are fire-prone areas. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) there are on average more than 5,000 service station fires in the US each year. Here, the fire loss attorneys at AFSL detail steps to take when practicing gas station fire safety.
Structure fires and other outdoor fires at service stations have decreased 70 percent between 1980 and 2008. However, vehicle fires at service stations rose steadily during the same time, and vehicle fires still account for 61 percent of all service station fires today.
Annually, fires at service stations account for an average of two civilian deaths, 48 civilian injuries and millions of dollars in property damages. There are a few safety precautions you can take to avoid becoming a statistic.
Refuel Your Vehicle Safely
- Turn off your vehicle’s engine when refueling.
- Don’t smoke, use matches or lights when fueling your car.
- Never allow a child to pump gas. Gasoline is very flammable and toxic; it should only be handled by an adult.
- Avoid spillage; do not try and overfill your vehicle.
- Avoid using any electronics while fueling your vehicle.
- Use only approved portable containers for transporting or storing gasoline. Make sure the container is in a stable position.
- Avoid moving in and out of your car once your car starts flaming. The static electricity generated from your movement can easily ignite a fire when you go to touch the gas nozzle, which is surrounded by gas fumes. Rather, after exiting your vehicle, touch something metallic away from the nozzle to discharge the static electricity.
- After fueling your car, wait for a few seconds to avoid drips when you remove the nozzle.
What to Do if A Fire Occurs While Refueling
- DO NOT remove the nozzle from the vehicle.
- Press the emergency disconnect switch if there is one available.
- Alert an attendant immediately. They are trained to know how to best approach the situation.
Contact a Fire Loss Attorney
The loss of your vehicle or belongings, as well as personal injury damages suffered can be very stressful and painful. Through AFSL’s comprehensive strategies and practices, our compassionate attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of fire loss and injury rebuild their lives, and receive the compensation they deserve. For more information, we urge you to contact us today.