How to Pump Gas Safely: This is What You Should Never Do

If people learned how to pump gas safely, we could reduce the estimated 5,000 gas station fires per year (source: The National Fire Protection Association). This may not sound like a lot, but results are devastating. Annually, these fires cause an average of 2 deaths, 28 injuries, and $20 million worth of property damage.

The Do’s

When going to the gas station, there are a few safety measures that you’ll need to take to ensure that you remain as safe as possible. Read on to learn some of the most important things you need to do while pumping fuel into your vehicle.

Ensure the Pump Is Secure

Before you begin to fill up, you’ll want to ensure that the nozzle of the gas pump is fully secured within your car. You don’t want it to be too loose. Not only is this a huge risk of fuel spilling out all over the ground, but it will this cause it to go onto other parts of the car rather than in the tank.

Stand Outside With the Pump

While it’s tempting to hop back in the car while your tank fills up in order to get refuge from the cold, this is something that you should never do. Getting in and out of your car and switching temperature rapidly will cause electrical charges to build up within your body which is a huge fire hazard.

Instead of getting back in the car while you’re fueling, bring a nice warm coat and a pair of mittens with you to the station. A little extra warmth isn’t worth the possibility of the combustion of your car or your body.

Clean Up Any Spills

If any gas spills from the pump onto any surfaces inside of your car, you’ll want to clean that up immediately. This is a common mistake, especially since so many people leave doors open while fueling (which you should avoid doing.) In any case, if you do find even a drop of gas on your seats or car floor, it can create horrid odors. It can also cause a fire if anything hot touches it.

Make sure that you’re careful not to have a gas spill or clean up after yourself if there is one!

The Don’ts

Just as important as the things you need to do while pumping gas are the things that you absolutely never should do while at the pump.

Don’t Leave the Car On

Many people ask, ‘can you pump gas with your car running?’

While it’s technically possible to do this, it’s a bad idea for a few reasons. First, criminals have recently been taking advantage of people who do this and stealing cars. When the car is unlocked and on, they can just hop in when you get out to fill your tank and take your car in the blink of an eye.

This alone is a good reason to avoid running your car while pumping gas, but it also can cause safety concerns to do so. Every part of a car is generating heat while it’s running, and adding gasoline to this heat is a huge fire hazard. While different states have different laws regarding pumping gas with your car on, these safety concerns are an even greater reason to avoid doing this than any law.

Don’t Top Off Your Gas Tank 

Gasoline needs room to expand within your vehicle. If it doesn’t have this space, a lot of pressure can build up inside your car and ultimately end up causing a dangerous leak. While it can be tempting to try and top off your fuel tank even after it automatically shuts off, this is one of the worst things you can do for both your car and your safety. Automatic shut-off valves exist for your safety by stopping you from topping off.

Don’t Smoke or Text

You also should never smoke next to a gasoline pump for obvious reasons (fire + gas = combustion). But did you know that texting while at the gas pump can be just as deadly?

It’s true. Cell phone batteries can explode, which is a risk while around gasoline. They also create static electricity, which can cause a fire in the same way that getting in and out of your car can. This static electricity can cause the pump to combust when you touch it, so it’s best to just avoid the risk.

More on How to Pump Gas Safely

There are a wide variety of aspects that you need to consider when it comes to driving safety. However, being fully present while you’re pumping gas is one of the most important ways to prevent fires, the destruction of vehicles, and to save lives.

Now that you know how to pump gas safely, it’s time to get more insight into how to keep safe while behind the wheel. Click here to try a free demo of our online defensive driving courses. Not only can these courses help you to learn traffic safety laws and prevent automobile accidents, but they can also lower your insurance rates or remove points from your driver’s license.