In the past couple years or so, there have been warnings on gas pumps that say that cell phones can create sparks that could ignite gas in the area. I’ve wondered if it was true. It didn’t sound right to me, but like all these sorts of warnings, there is an element of plausibility. Finally, my questions have been answered by Wired, in Cell-Phone Fires: A Lot of Static.
Robert Renkes, a spokesman for the Petroleum Equipment Institute, said he has documented every reported gas station fire for the last several years. “We have not found a cell phone responsible for any fire since the beginning of mankind,” he said.
This would have been just another urban legend that I wouldn’t have given a third thought if gas stations hadn’t been putting the warnings on their pumps. That gave it much more credit in my eyes. Seems that I was right to doubt, though. Good to know that I can fill up without fear.