Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mobile phones - Do they cause fuel pump fires?

Gasoline fires are no laughing matter, even if people do find the strangest ways to endanger themselves with the increasingly expensive petroleum product. One Daytona Beach, Fla., man gave himself second degree burns, and all because he thought it was a good idea to replace his car’s fuel tank with a plastic fuel can – then move the can to a space under the hood, next to the engine. It’s stranger than fiction. Then there is the old story about cell phones and gas pump fires. Has this ever happened, or is it merely an urban legenddesigned to frighten hapless motorists? Article source – Do cell phones cause fires at the gas pump by Car Deal Expert.

Cell phone lies burning up the Internets

According to urban legend investigative website, it is a myth that cell phones cause fuel pump fires. Cell phone manuals may have some token verbiage on the subject, but for one of the most part, Snopes has found that there is no hard science behind the idea that cellular signals cause gas pump fires. Sure, it may sound feasible – electromagnetic waves producing a static charge that ignites the gasoline vapor – but you will find simply no cases to back it up. Do not fire up the smartphone around your cousin’s iron lung or during takeoff from Istanbul, but it seems to be safe to use it around the gas pump. China and Indonesia have supposedly had their share of flare ups, but tracked those yarns down to an Internet meme from 1999. Years later, “Mythbusters” burned the whole story to the ground.

’Shell Oil’ sounded the alarm

A group claiming to be the Shell Oil Company circulated a warning in June 2002. They cited 3 examples that sounded specific enough to be real. The erroneous claim made in the e-mail message is that all a cellular phone has to do is ring to emit an EM pulse powerful enough to ignite gasoline fumes in the air (such as those produced at the gasoline pump). Yes, cell phone batteries may be of the exact same voltage (12 V) as car batteries, but that doesn’t mean cellular batteries emit the exact same amount of current. There was once a circulating claim that cell phones use “more than 100 volts,” but that seems to have been a rumor traced back to the traditional land-line telephone industry during the first phases of competition with the emerging cellular industry.

Needless to say, Shell Oil denied they’d ever produced the message.

When being careful is more than the situation calls for

Even if a gasoline station tank does go up – it has happened – cellular phones cannot be connected. Talk away, but be sure to get the gasoline in the tank, rather than on your shoes; distraction can be a bad thing.

Find more details on this subject

Daytona Beach News-Journal


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