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8 Easy Tips to Stay Safe at the Pump

There’s always a risk when gas and other flammable liquids are around. Yet many of us forget about that when we’re fueling up at the gas station.

The main danger at a fueling pump is not the gas, but the gas vapors. Because gas vapors are heavier than air, trouble can happen if they come into contact with something flammable on the ground like a smoldering cigarette butt, a hot surface or even a static spark.

For these reasons, it’s worth keeping the following tips in mind when you’re fueling up:

  • Always turn off your car when you’re fueling.
  • Refrain from smoking or lighting a flame when you’re at a gas station. Open flames can easily turn into a recipe for disaster!
  • Stay close by when you’re filling up. Getting into your car and then touching the pump could result in a static charge. If you have to get into your car when you’re refueling, touch the exterior metal of your car before you grab the pump—doing so will help discharge any static charge you may have picked up on a car seat.
  • Pay attention to what you’re doing. It’s never a good idea to play Candy Crush when gallons of a highly flammable substance are flowing into your car!
  • Use approved gas containers—and use them the right way. (That would be outside of your vehicle, on a stable surface on the ground.) It’s also a good idea to touch the pump to the container to avoid a static electricity ignition and to fill it up to 95 percent to allow room for expansion.
  • Resist the urge to “top off” your tank with extra gas—doing so could cause a dangerous spill.
  • Give your hands a good wash when you’re done fueling up.
  • Leave the area immediately and call for help if a fire starts. Don’t try to remove the nozzle or cut off the gas before you leave.

Related: The difference between regular and premium gas

Filling up the tank is something most people do pretty regularly. By keeping these tips in mind, you can help ensure you stay safe each time you do. Another thing you should do regularly is touch base with your local ERIE agent to review your auto insurance, that way you can drive knowing you’re protected.

ERIEĀ® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.