A good friend of mine who works for a major fuel company in NZ emailed a serious and responsible guideline to me this morning to encourage safe responses to refuelling fire incidents in petrol stations. Following is my edited version which you are unlikely to see posted up at your local outlet…
Static-related incidents while fuelling our passenger vehicles are rare but possible. BUT what should you do in the unlikely event of a flash fire at the refuelling nozzle?
- SCREAM – its very important that station forecourt staff are alerted to the emergency as soon as possible, scream like a girl !!!
- RUN LIKE HELL – leave the nozzle in the car, your crap car needs replacing and in a few minutes will be a smouldering heap of plastic and metal, and if some anal superhero fool pulls an extinguisher out of their boot and saves your car you may get a few litres of free fuel in all the confusion. Dont worry about being run-over by another vehicle as a broken leg will mend in a couple of months whereas 3rd degree burns are with you for life
- GO BACK AND SAVE YOUR FAMILY – your initial instinct and indeed the proper reaction is to run like hell (see step 2) and this is important as if you cant protect yourself you cannot then go back and save your family. Save them now!
- NOW READ THE MANUAL – after following steps 1 through 3 above, please now consult the service station manual (or email sent by a petrol company employee friend) issued to detail just how you should react to this situation. by the time you’ve read or recalled the contents of the manual your car will be a wreck but this will give you time to get your story right for the insurance agents and ACC officer