Gotcha, but I still questiion whether an engine that is running for three minutes (or whatever) poses more of a risk than an engine that is running when you pull in, then started again and running when you leave. If anything, I think the greatest risk comes when you create sparks in your engine compartment when restarting the car.
I was gonna ask for a cite, but I found one myself. A study by the Petroleum Equipment Institute documents 162 fires caused by static while refueling from 1992-2005 (which I’ll stipulate averages to about 12 a year )
In the PEI’s FAQ, they also state why they believe it’s dangerous to leave your engine running during refueling:
Both of those issues will still be true while you’re pulling into the pump, and if the exhaust components are hot enough to ignite gasoline, they don’t suddenly cool off when you stop the engine (gasoline’s ignition point is about 500 degrees F/280 C).
FatBaldGuy mentiond the myth of cell phones being dangerous. PEI says clearly: “In fact, PEI has not documented a single refueling fire caused by a cell phone or pager.”
It’s fascinating reading, and they talk about all sorts of things that cause fires at gas stations. Other than static, they seem to mostly be caused by people smoking, or other blatantly dangerous (and stupid) things.