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StrangeJames

The Petrol Station Urban Legend.

15 posts in this topic

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!

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thats pretty neat, ive never heard it! thanks!

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

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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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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).

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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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they disprooved that myth on mythbusters last night

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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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Yeah, whats this got to do with cryptozoology?

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It apparently turned out to be an urban myth.

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But it has nothing to do with Cryptozoology :S

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this is the Cryptozoology, MYTHS and Legends section

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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

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

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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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