The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 in petrol pumps is to avoid contact with the pump surface and keyboard. If possible, wear disposable gloves or use a paper towel when grasping the fuel hose handle or writing your PIN. If you have disinfectant wipes with you, it is a good idea to clean the handle and keyboard of the gas pump in advance. To further reduce your exposure risk, you can take advantage of contactless payment via smartphone if there is an option at the gas station. Remove the mouthpiece and insert it firmly into the opening of the gas tank.
There are some claims for the first drive-in gas station. Standard Oil claims it had a station in Seattle, Washington in 1907, while it was also claimed to be the first in St. Louis a few years earlier. Most recognize, however, that when “Good Gulf Gasoline” went on sale in downtown Pittsburgh in 1913, the first real drive-in service was opened.
If you need to return to your vehicle, recharge static electricity before touching the nozzle. Before using the pump, touch the gas can nozzle metal or car door with your bare hand. This will discharge static electricity into your body and prevent possible fires.
Some consumers believe that if you fill the tank completely, you actually pay for more gas that flows to the pump unused. To prevent waste, keep your tank in a less than completely full place. The pump nozzles are made to fit in your gas tank without holding onto the handle during pumping. While you’ll probably see a lot of people holding on to the pump all the time, this isn’t necessary. Make sure you have placed it completely and comfortably and it should be good.
Notify the station attendant immediately so that all pumps can be turned off with emergency control. When dispensing gasoline in a container, use only an approved portable container. Place it on the ground when you fill it to avoid possible static positive ignition from petrol vapors. Never fill these containers in your car or in a truck bed. In case static electricity causes a fire, leave the mouthpiece in the filler pipe and stay away from your vehicle. Then notify the station attendant immediately so that you can solve the problem and ask for help.
If you leave the car door open and do not touch any other metal before you reach the gas nozzle, that static charge in the nozzle can be released, creating the possibility of a sudden fire. No one is sure how many gas pump fires are caused by static electricity. However, from 2000 to 2010, 176 static fires were reported to the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Keep using those disinfectants, hand disinfectants and car cleaners often. Wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, wear a mask, yadda yadda, we all already know the exercise.
When you stop at a gas station to refuel your vehicle, open and close the car door, open the fuel tank cover, touch the pump to start feeding and touch the pump nozzle, all before gasoline starts to flow. All static electricity collected in the car has disappeared several times. In fact, it might be a good idea to find a station that accepts contactless payment at the pump so you don’t have to physically contact the touchscreen or anything other than the pump handle. Two simple solutions to this problem are wearing gloves or using commonly used paper towels to clean windows such as hand and screen protector, buttons and pump handle.