Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Cell phone & fires

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    124

    Cell phone & fires

    Anyone interested in a thread about cell phones and static causeing fires should click on this link http://www.oshazone.com/forums/showt...s=&threadid=15

    Post your thoughts there, as well as here, if you would, please.

    Thanks
    Rick Miell

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    7,288

    Re: Cell phone & fires

    I will read your link, but I am going to have to see some serious stats and facts that really prove this is a problem. I certainly agree static discharge in the presence of combustible fumes presents a hazard, but from cell phones? I am thinking this is an "Uraban Myth" that has gone out of control.
    Bryan P. Holland, MCP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Bremerton, Washington
    Posts
    6,698

    Re: Cell phone & fires

    I know there is a committe from the Instrumentation Society of America working on standards for cell phones in hazardous areas. Also there is a company who makes intrinscially safe calculators and laser pointers. this is a big issue in the petrochemcial industry, they take it very seriously.
    Moderator-Washington State
    Ancora Imparo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Portage, Indiana NEC: 2008
    Posts
    9,892

    Re: Cell phone & fires

    Any type or RF transmitter can produce a electrical current in a remote peice of metal this is why we have to turn of radio transmitters like CB's cell phones even police rados in blasting areas. If a peice of metal or wire is close to the resonet frequency of the transmitter it will develope a current in it and can discharge to another close by. this has been known for a long time.

    [ March 18, 2003, 10:15 PM: Message edited by: hurk27 ]
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Bremerton, Washington
    Posts
    6,698

    Re: Cell phone & fires

    This is from some notes to my 2002 NEC changes class:
    The Instrumentation Society of American (ISA) has a working group reviewing the hazard of battery powered equipment in hazardous locations. The SP12 committee is working on “Portable Electronic Products Suitable for use in Class I and II Division2, and Class III, Divisions 1 and Hazardous (classified locations) While cell phones and pagers are used all the time in hazardous locations, there are no guidelines on how to use them safely. One guide line in the new document on when its safe to use a cell phone…if you can drop it from 2 meters and it doesn’t break or is damaged then you can use it safely.

    Check out this link: www.ecom-ex.com
    Moderator-Washington State
    Ancora Imparo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    7,288

    Re: Cell phone & fires

    People pull into gas stations with the car radio on. The car itself is running electrical current to all types of equipmnent around the car like the brake lights, power windows, interior lights, etc.. People wear watches, cell-phones, pagers, and so on. I know there is a potential hazard, but I think cell phones are pushing it.
    Bryan P. Holland, MCP

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,257

    Re: Cell phone & fires

    There was a show on TV last week that talked about this. I think the show was called "Big Urban Myths" or something like that. It talked about 'true' cases where people would fuel up and static charge would ignite the fumes. The show claimed that most cases were women. They claim that a person gets out of vehicle, opens gas cap(discharging static), inserts nozzle, and fuels. But the cases where someone has ignited the fumes, got back in the vehicle, creating another static charge ,then exits the vehicle, grabs the nozzle, and discharges, igniting the fumes. The first reaction is to pull the handle out, which then sprays fuel and causes a bigger blaze, and potentially sets the person ablaze. The show went on to say that if this ever happens to you, leave the nozzle in because the flame of fumes will go out, without spreading. The show didn't mention anything about a cell phone being related to any of the known cases where this has happened.
    Todd
    Live Long and Prosper.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2

    Re: Cell phone & fires

    I've read a couple of studies (wish I could provide links / references).

    Most all of the studies indicated that cell phones pose little to no risk of explosions at a gas station. The voltages/currents inside a phone are not high enough to cause a spark for ignition. (I worry more about some of the ballasts & control electronics in the pumps, or that back-firing vehicle at the pump next to me.)

    Most of the cases of fire, were from static build-ups. Mostly from clothing developing static charges from entry/exit of a vehicle. The other cases were from gas containers left inside of, or in the truck bed. Experts advise ALWAYS filling containers, on the ground, so that any static charges that may develop, will dissapate to "ground". Several incidents happened just as the nozzle was making contact with the container, just before pumping began - indicating a static buildup.

    I don't worry about my cell phone... But I do tend to try to "ground" myself, in order to dissipate any charges.... Although pump nozzles & hoses contain a grounding conductor, sometimes I think a ground wire/clamp (like what is used in the aircraft industry, might not be a bad idea... But I doubt too many people would use them, and I"m sure they would fall into disrepair / vandalism pretty quickly.

    The cell phone thing seems to be an urban legend... But PLEASE, put your gas cans on the ground when filling them, and turn off your engines!

    I'll get off my soapbox / podium now....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    6,102

    Re: Cell phone & fires

    I just got this e-mail from our management:

    The Shell Oil Company recently issued a warning after three incidents in which mobile phones (cell phones) ignited fumes during fueling operations.

    In the first case, the phone was placed on the car's trunk
    lid during fueling; it rang and the ensuing fire destroyed
    the car and the gasoline pump.

    In the second, an individual suffered severe burns to their
    face when fumes ignited as they answered a call while refueling
    their car.

    And in the third, an individual suffered burns to the thigh
    and groin as fumes ignited when the phone, which was in their
    pocket, rang while they were fueling their car.

    You should know that: Mobile Phones can ignite fuel or fumes. Mobile phones that light up when switched on or when they ring release enough energy to provide a spark for ignition. Mobile phones should not be used in filling stations, or when
    fueling lawn mowers, boat, etc.

    Mobile phones should not be used, or should be turned off,
    around other materials that generate flammable or explosive fumes or dust, i.e., solvents, chemicals, gases, grain dust, etc.

    Another safety warning you should know about concerns static electricity. Below is an email from Pat Cabiling who works at Chevron Texaco's Richmond Refinery.

    Four Rules for Safe Refueling
    1) Turn off engine.
    2) Don't smoke.
    3) Don't use your cell phone - leave it inside the vehicle or
    turn it off.
    4) Don't reenter your vehicle during fueling.

    Bob Renkes of Petroleum Equipment Institute is working on a
    campaign to try and make people aware of fires as a result
    of 'static electricity' at gas pumps. His company has researched
    150 cases of these fires. His results were very surprising:

    1) Out of 150 cases, almost all of them were women.
    2) Almost all cases involved the person getting back in their
    vehicle while the nozzle was still pumping gas, when finished
    and they went back to pull the nozzle out the fire started, as
    a result of static.
    3) Most had on rubber-soled shoes.
    4) Most men never get back in their vehicle until completely
    finished. This is why they are seldom involved in these types
    of fires.
    5) Don't ever use cell phones when pumping gas.
    6) It is the vapors that come out of the gas that cause the fire,
    when connected with static charges.
    7) There were 29 fires where the vehicle was reentered and the
    nozzle was touched during refueling from a variety of makes
    and models. Some resulting in extensive damage to the vehicle,
    to the station, and to the customer.
    8) Seventeen fires that occurred before, during or immediately
    after the gas cap was removed and before fueling began.

    Mr. Renkes stresses to NEVER get back into your vehicle while
    filling it with gas. If you absolutely HAVE to get in your vehicle while the gas is pumping, make sure you get out, close the door TOUCHING THE METAL, before you ever pull the nozzle out. This way the static from your body will be discharged before you ever remove the nozzle.

    As mentioned earlier, The Petroleum Equipment Institute, along with several other companies now, are really trying to make the public aware of this danger. You can find out more information by going to http://www.pei.org. Once here, click in the center of the screen where it says "Stop Static."

    I ask you to please send this information to ALL your family and
    friends, especially those who have kids in the car with them while pumping gas. If this were to happen to them, they may not be able to get the children out in time.

    Thanks for passing this along.
    Pat Cabiling@Chevron Texaco USA RFMS Richmond California Refinery
    Phone: (510)242-1454 Email: ppca@cheverontexaco.com
    Charlie Eldridge, Indianapolis, Utility Power Guy
    Responses based on the 2011 NEC, unless stated otherwise.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Outside the USA
    Posts
    1

    Re: Cell phone & fires

    If the power from a cell phone could ignite gasoline fumes , imagine what the scared family would do if they had to exit the vehicle while re-fuelling and the door switch sends current to the interior lights, or worse yet, the power window was used. This could be a new episode for "FEAR FACTOR".

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •