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The Petrol Station Urban Legend.


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#1    StrangeJames

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 11:34 PM

The commonly-held belief that turning on a mobile phone in a petrol station can cause an explosion could be a myth, researchers have said.
Dr Adam Burgess, of the University of Kent, will present his findings to a conference later this week.

He will say that out of 243 petrol station fires attributed to mobiles around the world in the last 11 years, not one was caused by a handset.

Researchers said static electricity from the body caused many of the fires.



'Urban legend'

BP's fire safety officer Richard Coates found that many happened after discharge of static from the body ignited petrol fumes.

"The petrol station/mobile phone story crosses into the realm of rumour and urban legend," Dr Burgess said.

"Even on an oil rig, the only real reason not to use a mobile is because of the issue of distraction."

Dr Burgess said the Piper Alpha tragedy of 1988, when 167 men died off the coast of Scotland after an explosion, gave "shape and momentum" to the drive for safety.

He said bans on mobiles at service stations were the result of "a relatively instinctive precautionary response".

  Cell phones remain a mysterious, unexplained hazard  ohmy.gif

Dr Adam Burgess

He said manufacturers' warnings not to use mobiles at petrol stations because of the risk of fire gave the idea further credence.

A lit cigarette was not hot enough to ignite petrol on a filling station, let alone the low voltage of a mobile phone, he claimed.

"In practice, the restriction continues to be enforced on the basis that there is something inherently dangerous about the cell phone in such an environment.

"Cell phones remain a mysterious, unexplained hazard at the gas station."

An urban legend no longer! thumbsup.gif
yaay,no more worrying when my phones goes off in a petrol station,and i can lite a cigarette while filling up,without worrying about ending up in a ball of flames!


#2    man_in_mudboots

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 11:35 PM

thats pretty neat, ive never heard it! thanks!


#3    BurnSide

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 11:38 PM

Yeah, you know, i DEFINATELY just watched that on MythBusters, like 4 hours ago, this exact thing.


#4    marduk

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 01:11 AM

It was on brainiacs as well in the U.K.
First they doused a caravan with petrol and left a mobile phone on the table then retreated and rang it.
Nothing happened.
So they doused the caravan with more petrol and added ten more mobile phones and then rang them all at once.
Nothing happened.
So they gave a guy a wire attached to the caravan and asked him to shake hands with a guy wearing a polythene pac a mac who had been running and dancing on a rubber mat.
KABOOM



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#5    man_in_mudboots

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 01:18 AM

QUOTE
Yeah, you know, i DEFINATELY just watched that on MythBusters, like 4 hours ago, this exact thing.
so? he was just sharing it with the folks that didnt watch it, (which far outnumber those that did).


#6    Fable

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 01:18 AM

I was just fixing to say the same. "I think I saw that on Mythbust...oh Burnside just said the same thing." What about the static electricity story though? The one where you touch a pump wrong or, some such nonsense like that. You shock it, you blow up. Ha.

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#7    Neo2005

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 01:21 AM

they disprooved that myth on mythbusters last night


#8    marduk

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 01:42 PM

Funnily enough though petrol stations in the uk use their forecourts to sell barbecue supplies. Lighter fluid, charcoal, small bundles of wood etc.
But you'd be surprised how upset they get if you try and set up your family barbecue there.
w00t.gif

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#9    Walken

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 03:46 PM

Yeah, whats this got to do with cryptozoology?

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#10    marduk

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 09:05 PM

It apparently turned out to be an urban myth.

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#11    Walken

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 09:31 PM

But it has nothing to do with Cryptozoology :S

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#12    marduk

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 09:44 PM

this is the Cryptozoology, MYTHS and Legends section

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#13    PuffyAmiYumi

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 07:19 AM

it you wear nylon and dance in a bucket to charge the electricity, then touch something to cause a spark...



...KABOOM!!...

Thanks to Brainiac for doing that one to a Caravan!! I love explosions!

Edited by PuffyAmiYumi, 23 August 2005 - 07:20 AM.

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#14    Jeenuh

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 03:31 AM

I saw a show on TV about that, like on the news.

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#15    Barnacle Battlefront

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 06:21 AM

i saw that on mythbusters as well. i work at a petrol station and my phone has gone off in my pocket plenty of times while i'm pumping fuel. but the first thing i got told when i strated working there was to alaways touch a tarp to earth it before filling up the car with fuel, otherwise the static electricty could ignite the fuel fumes dontgetit.gif

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