These are the universal safety guidelines for gas stations that should be practiced whether or not such gasoline station is owned by a corporate, small to medium enterprise, or a start-up fuel service station.
1. Always turn off your vehicle engine while refueling.
2. Stay near the vehicle fueling point during the process.
3. Never smoke, light matches, or use lighters while refueling.
4. Cellular phones and other electronic devices may have the potential to emit electrical charges, and should therefore be left in the vehicle during fueling. (There have been no reported fires due to cell phone use.)
5. Do not get back into your vehicle during refueling – even when using the nozzle’s automatic hold-open latch. If you must re-enter your vehicle, discharge static electricity buildup when you get out by touching the outside metal portion of your vehicle, away from the filling point, before attempting to remove the nozzle.
6. To avoid gasoline spills, do not overfill or top off your tank. The fuel dispenser will shut off automatically when the tank is full.
7. Use only the hold-open latch provided on the gasoline nozzle. Never jam or force the hold-open latch open by using some other object, such as the gas cap.
8. When dispensing gasoline into a portable gasoline can, use only an approved container. Always place the container on the ground and keep the pump nozzle in contact with the container when refueling to avoid a static electricity ignition of fuel vapors. Containers should never be filled inside a vehicle, in the trunk, on the bed of a pickup or flatbed truck, or on the floor of a trailer. The bed of the truck and the bed liner act as insulators, as does the carpeting in a car or in its trunk, which may allow static electricity to build up in the can while it is being filled. That static electricity could create a spark between the container and the fuel nozzle.
9. If a flash fire occurs during refueling, you should leave the nozzle in the vehicle fill pipe and back away from the vehicle. Notify the station attendant at once so that all dispensing devices and pumps can be shut off with emergency controls. If the facility is unattended, use the emergency intercom to summon help and the emergency shutdown button to shut off the pump.
Static Electricity Fires – How to Prevent Them [PDF]. (n.d.). West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University.