Using Smartphone in a Petrol Station is Dangerous: How True is That?

Image: Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

Think of this scenario: you are pumping petrol and while waiting for it to be done, what would you do?

For many of us, doing something such as using your phone is the last thing that will come to your mind, considering the warnings of using handphones while pumping petrol that has spread like wildfire over the past few years.

The reason why you think this may be dangerous is because of radiation from the phones which can ignite fires. Or some other tales you’ve read online.

So, is it really dangerous to use your phone while you’re in a petrol station?

Here are the facts.

Is it safe?

If you just want a quick answer: yes, it is safe to use your handphone while pumping petrol, as long as it is working normally and does not produce any sparks.

Research has proved that the cause of petrol station fires are not attributed to handphone use and that it is due to another reason.

The main cause of fires is due to static electricity, which is in the form of sparks which can start fires. The sparks from static electricity can ignite petrol vapours which are all around petrol stations, and that starts fires.

How about the radiation, you ask.

The level of radiation from your handphones is so weak that its effect is negligible. I mean, if it’s that strong, you shouldn’t worry about fires in petrol stations; you should be worried about the phone itself.

Internet videos

Since the case of using handphones leading to petrol station fires has been dismissed as myths, the next question that will come to your mind would be this: What are the actual causes of those news reports or videos that have been circulating on the internet?

The truth is that it was probably because of static electricity that sparked the fires, and it was a coincidence that the unfortunate victims were using their handphones at the same time.

(Article continues below) Xing Xing is a 34-year-old Singaporean lady who decides to meet up with an online friend she found in Facebook. But it turns out that he’s not what he seems to be: Prepare boxes of tissue and watch the saddest Singapore Facebook love story here:

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Either that, or the Internet being the Internet, people might have sensationalized a simple story and attributed it to smartphones being the culprit.

What you should look out for instead.

Even though experts have proved that using your handphone while pumping petrol would not cause fires, it does not mean that you should be talking or texting away on your phone.

The reason why you should not do so is simply because using handphones distracts you and this loss of concentration may expose to you to other dangers such as other cars moving around the petrol station.

The main reason why there are signs at petrol stations warning against the use of handphones while pumping petrol is due to two reasons: firstly, it is because handphones are not “intrinsically safe”; this means that while handphones will not cause fires at petrol stations, that does not make it 100% safe for you to use it in an environment which has flammable substances.

Secondly, this warning by petrol stations is given in order to prevent people from taking action against them  n the event that someone triggers a petrol station fire due to other reasons while using the phone at the same time.

Well, I’ll add a third reason: to prevent others from Stomping you #justsaying

Better safe than sorry, eh?

Now you’ve become smarter. Remember to check back tomorrow in the Goody Feed app for a new Fact of the Day!