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Smoking at the gas station.

by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 23, 2007 12:38 AM PDT

I couldn't believe my eyes. Someone actually did that for my very eyes. I decided I'd just pull on through and wait across the street for a possible good show. Sorry, didn't have a camera ready.

While I was fairly out of range they seemed to argue it was their right to smoke outside.

Would you want to be the attendant or manager that has to walk up to that person for a chat?


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There are idiots everywhere.
by EdH / March 23, 2007 12:42 AM PDT

It's better when the only ones they kill are themselves.

The right to smoke outside is trumped by the station owner's right to prohibit smoking (as per the LAW) at his gas station. Most gas stations have big NO SMOKING signs posted near the pumps.

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(NT) the atendant can turn pump off
by Mark5019 / March 23, 2007 12:43 AM PDT
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reply to: (NT) the atendant can turn pump off
by caktus / March 23, 2007 12:00 PM PDT

Wouldn't matter. Gasoline doesn't burn.

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what sure burns hot
by Mark5019 / March 23, 2007 12:22 PM PDT

vapors much explosive

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Couple of my personal incidents
by John Robie / March 23, 2007 2:39 PM PDT

where gasoline does burn. (1) When teenager, friends old 1934 Ford would many times be stubborn and require pouring a little gasoline directly in the carburetor while cranking with starter. While I was pouring a little gas out of a regular tomato can into the carb, he inside on the starter, the engine backfired, ignited the gas in the can, me throwing my hand up where the gas/flame when up coming down on my arms before I could get them out of the way. My arms started burning with flames of the gasoline and I started rubbing them between my legs on the jeans to put the flame out. Went to doctor as some of the skin on both arms pealed off. Luckly, no lasting scars at all. My Dad told me that next time use a small coke bottle and when the car backfires through the carb it will catch the flame shooting out the mouth of the coke bottle which can be quickly thrown aside without a cup of gas being dispersed burning my arms. Of course, I changed seats with my friend on starting his car, letting him use the coke bottle method. Wink

(2) Just a couple years ago, I usually trim the web worms out of our pecan trees and burn the small limbs/leaves with their nest in the far back yard area using a small amount of gasoline and newspapers. Well this time, after pouring the small amount of gasoline, the matches I was using failed to light, so walked back to the house to get more. On return, I lit a wad of newspaper as a torch to throw on the pile of limbs/leaves as usual.........low and behold the low ground hugging gas vapors had spread out further than I was accustom to and swish, boom, a flash almost enveloped me, making a small cloud something like a view of the Atom Bomb cloud. The time it took me to go to the house to get matches was enough to let the gas vapor spread out and become extremely dangerous to light.

Kinda like the bad bon fire mishap at Tx A&M.

So, assume you are thinking of something else when saying gasoline doesn't burn.

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gasoline [doesn't] burn.
by caktus / March 24, 2007 2:06 AM PDT

The gas, a vapor can be ignited.

Gas, a vapor, is often confused with gasoline, a liquid.

Technically one could actually douse a flame with gasoline. But, derned if I would try to get the liquid to the flame before the vapor got there. Wink

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It's not the solid or liquid...
by J. Vega / March 24, 2007 9:03 AM PDT

Like with many things, it's not the substance but its state- state as in solid/liquid/gas. Consider flour, the substance from which you make bread. It's not very flammable, but a build up of airborne dust in a mill or elevator has been to start a fire or even explosion.
In the realm of military weapons consider the mechanics of operation of what is sometimes called a "fuel air bomb", a good example of the difference vaporization can make.

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Right J.
by John Robie / March 24, 2007 11:01 PM PDT

I recall learning back in the 40's when tinkering with auto engines that the gasoline vapor 'burns' pushing the piston down rather than exploding. Modern grain elevators/storage have devices including fans to reduce the possibility of their vapor/dust catching on fire.
I also recall the 1947 explosion of fertilizer (Ammonium Nitrate), when it happened, leveling most of Texas City, killing over 500 people including the entire fire department.

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(NT) re:"fuel air bomb"=a bad b****
by caktus / March 25, 2007 4:41 AM PDT
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While it may be the law,
by duckman / March 23, 2007 12:49 AM PDT

there is a better chance of a fire from filling an ungrounded fuel can than from a smoke or having the engine running

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True, but...
by EdH / March 23, 2007 12:52 AM PDT

I see someone smoking at a gas station and I am not hanging around.

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That happened a few weeks ago
by Dragon / March 29, 2007 10:04 AM PDT
In reply to: True, but...

I was at a gas station in front of a United grocery store, parked behind another car at the next pump. I was sitting inside the car because it was cold and windy. I happened to notice exhaust coming from the other guy's tailpipe. He probably wanted to keep the heater going. Anyway, I wrote down his plate number and time of day, thinking I might report it or something. I never did.

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Who are you going to report it to
by duckman / March 29, 2007 10:10 AM PDT

and why?

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If I were the attendant, I would think seriously about
by Kiddpeat / March 23, 2007 1:21 AM PDT

calling the police. Surely, that's the kind of situation they should be resolving.

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Petrol lit with a cigarette? Only in the movies.
by John Robie / March 23, 2007 3:20 AM PDT

HOWEVER, light that cigarette with a match or lighter as you are filling the tank and boom.
If smoking is allow at the pump, some dumb *** will light up while fueling.


A lit cigarette is less of an ignition source than a high energy static. Gas station fires can be caused more often by static electricity.
NEVER Get back in the car to stay warm while the car fuels.. You slide off seat, grab fuel handle.. SPARK ->FIRE.. If you do get into car.. Ground yourself out on something metal before grabbing fuel nozzle.


Also avoid a chewing out by gas attendant by removing your gas container from the vehicle and place on the ground while fueling.

Women's nylon stockings when they get out of a vehicle, can cause a spark, too. Stations should put up a sign:

"Please remove all undergarments while pumping gas"

Cell phones...Mythbusters says no, however,
Canada's major gas pump operators have banned customers from using mobile phones while at the gas pump and the city of Cicero, Illinois, recently passed the first law in the USA banning the use of cellular phones at gas stations.

I missed that Mythbusters program if exploding a outhouse with its natural methane gas can be done.

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Re: that spark
by Angeline Booher / March 23, 2007 6:07 AM PDT

In my experiences while wearing nylons, the spark happens when I grabbed the metal car handle to get out. Lots of static electricity in the wintertime, especially.

On the other hand, in the old days we did not wear nylon undies in the operating rooms.

When we heated with oil, and expressed concern about oil spilled on the floor of the basement, we were told that tossing a cigarette on it would not ignite it. It took a spark, like that generated in the furnace.

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Static electricity causing fires at gas stations
by John Robie / March 24, 2007 5:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: that spark

is becoming a concern.

Please read some of the actual reports (scroll down) in this link to the
Petroleum Equipment Institute collection of static electricity auto fires.


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RE: Only in the movies.
by caktus / March 24, 2007 2:12 AM PDT

That being true, would [you] seek to prove it at a gas station? Wink

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Not me.
by John Robie / March 24, 2007 4:35 AM PDT

I've heard about throwing a lit cigarette in a bucket of gasoline and nothing happened except the cigarette went out. It would be interesting if Mythbusters would test with a device holding a lit cig just above the bucket of gasoline where the vapors are.

Then there would be no doubt that a lit cig around a gas station can cause an explosion or gas ignition, and the UK link statement "Petrol lit with a cigarette? Only in the movies" can be debunked.

I'm still searching the net for proof that a lit cigarette caused a gas station fire. Several fires blame a spark or lighting a cigarette caused a gas station fire. The person smoking a cig and burned would know if it was the smoking of the cig that caused the ignition or using his lighter.

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Extinguishing a cigarette in a can of gasoline
by Roger NC / March 25, 2007 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Not me.

is at least theoretically possible.

But from earlier times when I smoked over 2 packs a day, cigarettes sometimes will "flare" as a bit of twig, straw, whatever type of trash lights up.

That little flare will light the vapors. While you can certainly make the argument that liquid gas won't burn, only vaporized, consider that gasoline vaporization point is quite low.

A typical mid-grade gasoline from US Oil and Refining Co has a flash point of -43

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re "flare" as a bit of twig
by caktus / March 25, 2007 4:45 AM PDT

What kind of cig where you smoking? Wink

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(NT) LOL, cheap?
by Roger NC / March 25, 2007 4:52 AM PDT
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The line of thought...
by J. Vega / March 25, 2007 4:53 AM PDT

The line of thought to consider might be that when you light a cigarette and place it in an ashtray it will burn down completely if you never touch it again, but if you do the same with a cigar it will go out.

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OK, here's another good one. Your car on fire.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 23, 2007 3:50 AM PDT
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by duckman / March 23, 2007 2:15 PM PDT

I once drove a car that was on fire. In retrospect, it was kind of cool, at the time, it sucked.

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My most exciting failure was 'the brakes."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 23, 2007 9:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Seriously

One of my first cars was some '62 Volvo. We have replaced some U-joints and went for a spin. Someone had not put a retaining plate for the brake lines and the drive shaft snacked on the lines (ate them) and bingo, no brakes. The emergency brake was pathetic and everyone had good scare.

Today I know to test and keep the emergency brake in fine working order.


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Kinda know what you mean.
by John Robie / March 24, 2007 12:02 AM PDT

Another one of my hairbrain teenage episodes...
Bought a 1938 4dr Buick for $56 off a used car lot. Big heavy and ran fairly good with a straight eight engine. After a couple months I went out, started the engine, pressed on the brake pedal and it went to the floor. Started checking the wheels and the left front had a puddle of fluid on the ground. Had a hot date to go to the drive-in movie with a great looking girl, started thinking....dang Buick, the metal brake fluid line had a puncture just before the rubber line to the wheel. If it had been the rubber line...no biggie, can change out, but how do I fix the metal line without towing to a garage and letting them fix it.
So, my quick fix hairbrain started working in order not to miss my date.

Took a hammer, mashed the metal line together on the left front. Bled the brakes (Dad had taught me how to change brake shoes, bleed brakes, adjust bearings, rear brake cable, etc). Started out and when applying the brakes, the car would instantly turn...oh my, that will not work, so got out and hammered the right front wheel metal brake line. Ah, the car would stay on a straight line when applying the brakes, but OMG it would take forever for the big heavy Buick to stop with just the rear wheel brakes even locked up. Would have to go real slow and apply a lock up of the rear brakes every time I stopped.

About a week later I junked the old Buick and moved on to better.

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(NT) Above not a 'no text' (NT)
by John Robie / March 24, 2007 4:08 AM PDT
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It takes all comers
by Willy / March 24, 2007 1:07 AM PDT

I'm sure you've heard the term, "foolproof", but absolutely nothing is stupid/idiot proof, nothing, period. I guess fools are smarter, :). Visit: http://www.darwinawards.com for the stories, that are "true". -----Willy

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by caktus / March 24, 2007 2:26 AM PDT
In reply to: It takes all comers

Proof of a fool. Wink

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