Is it dangerous to use your mobile at a petrol station?


The fear is that the electromagnetic (EM) radiation from a mobile phone could impart enough energy to ignite petrol vapour directly or that it could induce currents in nearby metal objects and trigger a spark with the same effect. But a study found that in 243 petrol station fires around the world between 1994 and 2005, none were caused by mobile phones. In fact, there isn’t a single confirmed case of this ever happening. Even a lit cigarette isn’t hot enough to ignite petrol vapour. You need a naked flame or a spark, and mobile phones have low-voltage batteries that aren’t capable of producing either.

Petrol station fires are very rare and nearly all are caused by sparks from static electricity igniting petrol vapour. This requires just the right mix of air and vapour, which is much less likely to occur now that pumps have vapour-recovery systems installed.