How Easy Is It To Ignite Gasoline?

1 minute read

I do not normally think about how easy it is to ignite gasoline. I know that flame (as from a match) or a single spark can ignite gasoline. Anyway, as I was standing at a gas pump, I started to contemplate the combustibility of gasoline. I do not smoke, but if I did, I would be smart enough not to smoke near the gas pumps. I know from experience that entering and exiting my vehicle generates static electricity. I always stay outside my vehicle when filling and dissipate the stored charge before I get close to my gas tank. I have serious doubts that cell phones will cause a problem, but I do leave them in the vehicle. It is better to be safe than sorry.

As I was preparing to leave the station, another vehicle pulled up behind me and started to pump without shutting off his vehicle. I know that truck drivers do not always turn off their vehicles. My understanding is that diesel fuel has to be compressed before it will ignite. But, this was just a (crappy looking) car.

When I was pulling out of the gas station, I was almost hoping that the gasoline would combust, blowing up the person and his car. Of course, I would feel sorry for the passengers in his vehicle. In addition, I would have to pick a less-convenient station. I guess it is good that nothing bad happened.