A bad way to stop smoking

I want to recruit you all to bring back details from your home municipalities to stamp out this week’s egregious annoyance:

People Who Smoke At Gas Pumps

I don’t think I’d ever seen anyone do that before a month ago, but now it’s happened to me several times.

Once it was a quikee-mart customer, who stood right between the pumps for shelter from the wind while he lit up. He walked right past two fueling cars out to the sidewalk bus stop, about 20 ft away.

But three times it’s been employees ! One guy was out at the pump using a lighter to fray-proof the end of a nylon retractor cable. One was a kid standing outside the cashier’s booth smoking, the other an old woman sweeping the sidewalk with a two-inch ash hanging off her Kool.

Each time I asked the employees if they thought this was such a great idea… lighter-boy stared at the Bic as though it had sprouted ears and slunk back inside. Ditto with cashierboy. The old lady told me to mind my own business and she was allowed to smoke where she was working. It’s true that she was on the far side of a painted line along the curb from the service bay, but it was about ten feet from the pump.

Aren’t there any uniform codes for this? I thought I’d seen “No Smoking 50 Feet” on propane tanks, but all the signs I’ve seen just say “No Smoking”. No laws or codes are cited on the signs. Maybe it’s local, as I know cities and counties have different fire codes for buildings. Wouldn’t gas stations fall under some kind of federal DOT requirements?

What I’d really like is to saunter up armed with the “Revised Code of Washington 45.21a.120” or something to quote to impress upon them the business AND fire-safety implications of this practice.

So do me a favor and see if there’s teeth in the “No Smoking” sign at your fuel depot. Local codes, state codes, or federal codes are welcome.

I’m not a weenie or a busybody, I just have a certain queasiness about immolation.

“You can’t tell me what sucks!” - Beavis, a true Objectivist

Just grab the nearest hose (I mean from the pump, not the Kool-smoking broad) and point it at them.

Then, ask if they would like a blindfold to go with that cigarette…

Yer pal,

I know you are only kidding Satan, but reading your post reminded me of something that I saw on the news a month or so ago.

Seems two guys got into it at a gas station and one of em grabbed the hose and pulled his bic out of his pocket.

Long and the short of it, the guy got five years for terroristic threatening.

I have had some enormous fucking arguments with people about this. I once got out of someone’s car and walked across the road while they were tanking up with a lit cig in their mouth!

A lot of people have seen a lit cigarette dropped into a puddle of gasoline, and the cigarette just goes out, so they think the flammability issue is over-hyped. IT’S NOT THE FLUID THAT IS SO DAMN FLAMMABLE - IT’S THE FUMES! Standing over an open gas tank with a lit cigarette is taking a hell of a risk - most of the time the heaviness of the fumes (sinking to the ground instead of rising into your face) and air circulation (preventing accumulation of fumes in a small area around your cig) prevents the fumes from being ignited, but under the right circumstances you can blow your face right off of your head.

Why do you think all gas pumps are outside, instead of some being in nice cozy buildings where you don’t have to freeze your ass off in the wintertime while filling up your car?

How do people think engines work? Gas is vaporized with air, pumped into a small room with one movable wall, then ignited with a tiny spark - the VAPORIZED FUEL EXPLODES and pushes the movable wall away.

Jeez, smarten up, folks! I don’t care if you blow your own self up, but don’t take the whole damn neighborhood with you!

The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. - Henry Van Dyke

Uh … CO poisoning and the fact that it is really hard to teach cars to open and close the doors to keep out the cold air :wink: The fuel/air ratio that would be attained in a closed room (read bomb) is probably a contibuting factor also.


A point in every direction is like no point at all

The only crime worse than being stupid is to stand next to someone doing something stupid.

Read: When you see these @$$holes lighting up, LEAVE QUICKLY.

Roachman wrote:

My brief check of the U.S. Code over on www.findlaw.com turned up nothing about smoking around gasoline. My suspicion is that gas stations don’t qualify as Interstate Commerce and are thus governed entirely by laws written at the State level or lower. (Except for the Federal gasoline excise tax, of course. Congress can only regulate commerce if it crosses state lines, but it can tax just about anything.)

The truth, as always, is more complicated than that.

Thanks for the footwork, tracer. My checks of the RCW here in Washington State turned up zilch also.

One of last week’s headlines was a move by gas retailers to ban use of cellphones near gas pumps. The gist was that it wasn’t really a danger, and nothing had ever happened, but they wanted the rule anyway. The “rule” seemed merely a store policy.

I think maybe it’s all local fire code; what’s safe in one place may not be safe in another. I have NFPA79 around here, maybe there’s another Code too…

“You can’t tell me what sucks!” - Beavis, a true Objectivist

I smacked an unlit cig out of a woman’s mouth at a gas-pump in Fayetteville, N.C., earlier this year, just after she flicked her Bic and hotboxed the smoke.

She got all pissed off and called the police from a pay-phone while I was tanking up, and she wrote down my license plate number in cas I left.

The cops showed up, heard both sides of the story, and basically said “Bad Tank! Don’t do that again.”

The lady went to jail.

I smiled all the way back to the hotel :smiley:

<FONT COLOR=“BLUE”>“Who was that Tanked stranger?”</FONT>

Ok…I’m going to play devil’s advocate here…when was the last time you actually heard of a gas station exploding from someone smoking?..Or from someone leaving their car running while they pumped?

I haven’t lost my mind, I have a tape backup around somewhere.

Says da Roach –
What I’d really like is to saunter up armed with the “Revised Code of Washington 45.21a.120” or something to quote to impress upon them the business AND fire-safety implications of this practice.

I, on the other hand, would yell the applicable code number from across the street.

ChiefScott, showing the common sense and rightful caution of the military again. That’s a far better idea.

“The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.” - Humphrey Bogart

Atrael: As much as I appreciate an advocate, I can tell you that some theories are NOT worth testing. Maybe it doesn’t happen very often because most people aren’t stupid enough to try it…

Not dissing you in this retort, kind sir, and I hope it doesn’t come off that way. Just have a thing about explosions…

{{The cops showed up, heard both sides of the story, and basically said “Bad Tank! Don’t do that again.”}}

Somehow, I get the feeling that this is not the first time that phrase has been used…in fact, I think I’ve used it myself!

I have to admit that this story gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. I love it when idjits get their due.

Lynn the Packrat

“When was the last time you heard of a gas station exploding/burning down because someone smoked while lighting up”.

Good point. I can’t recall ever seeing “horrible preventable firestorm at the Exxon on 14th” on the evening news.

I suspect when/if it does happen it’s more like the fumes boiling out of a tank ignite, there’s a whoosh, and flames leap from the tank nozzle. Expletives are uttered, and a healthy blast from a Type C extinguisher ends the event.

Folks up here in WA are a little jittery after three kids were killed when a pipeline spilled into a creek in Bellingham a couple of months ago. Still safer than working at the smelter, I guess.

Aw, heck. Light up. Flick away.

“You can’t tell me what sucks!” - Beavis, a true Objectivist


Yes, I know…I think it’s stupid too.

Still seems like an UL that everyone freaks about. More so with the “turn your car off or it’ll blow up” than the smoking issue. I wouldn’t lite up near a gas station either…but I have occasionally left my car running while pumping…'specially during those 100 degree days when my fiance and her mother are sweltering in the car.

I haven’t lost my mind, I have a tape backup around somewhere.

Okay, I guess there’s a point to the argument: “When was the last time you heard of a gas station going FOOM!” I can understand the logic to this.

You also don’t here about any soldiers getting blown up with hand grenades on any kind of regular basis either…

Still and all, how many of you want to juggle some hand grenades? Russian Roulette?
Driving with your eyes closed? Anyone?

<FONT COLOR=“BLUE”>“How about playing chicken with a tank? You won’t feel a thing.”</FONT>
“I promise.”

One reason that gasoline is a good choice for motor fuel is that it is easy to get it to burn, but rather difficult to accidently make it explode.

I was eating at a fast food restaurant with some friends while a tanker truck filled the underground tanks at a gas staion next door. It was a rainy day, but not particularly stormy. Suddenly a bolt of lightning scored a direct hit on the tanker truck. Flames shot high from the exhaust vents on the top of the truck. All eyes in the restaurant were glued on the gas station as 4 very scared employees somehow managed to simultaneously escape the building though the single exit door and dove behind the car wash (sorry guys, but if that truck blows, it’s taking the whole city block with it). The truck driver casually sauntered out and shut off the valves, which extinguished the flames. Very exciting, but not something I’d care to witness again.

But I still shut off my engine when I fill up. Tempting fate just ain’t worth it, sometimes.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

Here in Europe, it’s mandatory you shut your engine off. Smoking is prohibited near the pumps, of course.


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

I occurred to me today that my mostly-plastic car generates rather a lot of static charge on a winter day. I almost always get zapped when it’s cold but not raining and I ground myself by steppnig out of the car and grabbing the door handle.

Just can’t beat those UL Class 1 Division II environments, I guess.

“You can’t tell me what sucks!” - Beavis, a true Objectivist