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30 November, 2009

Turn That Phone Off!

As you fill your car with petrol you will probably spot a sign similar to the one on the left, indicating that we must not use our mobiles on the forecourt of the petrol station. It is one of those notices that every petrol station seems to have but if you ask them why I bet they don't know.

A friend of mine had a new car with something really strange about the petrol cap that the previous owner had fitted and she made the mistake of calling up from the forecourt to ask how to open it. The woman assistant came flying out of the office yelling and shouting at her to put the phone away, but for what reason.

There has never in the history of petrol or mobile phones been an explosion on a petrol forecourt caused by a mobile phone, no there hasn't, and why should there be.

There is the technical ramblings on the Internet that the electro static can build up on you and discharge as you fill the tank etc, but there is a huge problem with the "a spark can blow up the petrol station" theory. Any car with a poor HT (high tension) lead, you know the one that makes that lovely light display when you open the engine cover in the dark, thousands of sparks flying all over the place, would be a far greater risk than something from a mobile.

Interestingly if there is any risk of exploding when you fill up it is more likely to be for women with nylon nickers, yes, apparently women are less likely to touch the car body when they get out of the car and the first time they earth the static built up is when they touch the petrol nozzle into the tank.

So us men are ok and if your a woman, the next time someone comes rushing out to tell you off for using your mobile simply smile and say "Its OK I've taken my panties off in the car".

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