Pat Shingleton: Gassing Up, Could be a Boom
Static charges occur often in cold, dry weather. If you gas-up this Wednesday you may experience increasing friction while getting in and out of your car, resulting in snaps and cracks of static electricity. As noted in a previous column, motorists dealing with recurring winter weather routinely set the pump handle and are tempted to get back into their car for a quick warm-up before completing the fill-up at the self-serve island. A little warmth could cause an explosion, ignited by static electricity when clothing or hair sparks gasoline vapors causing the flash fire. Regardless of the time of year, motorists should "ground" themselves by touching something metal after exiting their car and especially before they re-touch the pump handle.