Can smartphones actually cause fire at a petrol pump?

One fine afternoon, I visited a petrol pump to get my car refueled. I was on a call (hands-free) while I was parking my car close to the filling station. I got out of the car to check the meter and took my phone with me. As soon as the fuel pump employee saw me talking on the phone, he asked me to cut the phone, showing concern and urgency. I agreed and dropped the call immediately. This left me thinking, what harm would a phone do at a petrol pump?

When we visit, petrol pumps, we often see a sign asking us not to burn anything, not to smoke, and not to even take calls at the fuel-filling station. But have you wondered how could something as harmless as an incoming/outgoing call, cause an explosion or fire.

This obviously made me curious enough to go home and search “does using the phone at petrol pump cause fire’ on YouTube. To no one’s surprise, there’s nothing concrete I could find apart from some videos that allegedly show fire/explosions being caused by the use of a phone.

There are some questionable “experiments” as well, which show petrol fumes catching fire in the proximity of a phone making calls. So what’s the verdict then?

Numerous studies have revealed that there’s almost no chance of a phone causing fire. According to a study by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a regulatory body of the United States, there is no evidence that the reports of phone causing fires are true. While it may be “theoretically possible for a spark from a cell phone battery to ignite gas vapor,” the FCC concludes the potential threat is remote.

Then what about all the CCTV camera footage that claim the fire or explosion was caused by phones?
One of the main culprits that have been found to cause a spark and eventually a fire is static electricity. Movement or friction can cause static electricity. While fuel pumps are grounded, there are petrol fumes close to the nozzle.

In order to stay safe people visiting petrol pumps are often advised to:

-Turn off the engine.
-Not to smoke.
-Never re-enter your vehicle while refueling.

The post Can smartphones actually cause fire at a petrol pump? appeared first on BGR India.

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