This article is a compendium of postings from the ATIS Stationary Engine Mailing List. Reproduced here with permission.

Subj:	safety
Date:	96-11-01 22:51:26 EST
From:	This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Robert Holcomb)

I snagged this from the Off-road Digest , thought 
this might be interesting information.

From: David Burgess
To:  CNV Hall
Subject: Fire Hazard - filling of metal gasoline cans placed on plastic
truck bed liners.

Date: Friday, November 01, 1996 9:03AM


I have received a number of inquiries regarding vehicles fires resulting
from filling metal gasoline containers while placed on plastic truck bed

These incidents that have occurred have been in the United States, and
specifically in Chevron stations.

Chevron USA has issued a "Technical Bulletin" which reads as follows:


Several vehicle fires have resulted at Chevron service stations as a
result of customers filling metal portable gasoline containers (gas
cans) placed on plastic surfaces.  The fires have involved a gas can in
the back of a pick-up truck with a plastic bed liner.  The insulating
effect of the plastic surface prevents the static charge generated by
the gasoline flowing into the gas can from grounding.  As static charge
builds it can create a static spark between the gas can and the fuel
nozzle.  When the spark occurs in the flammable range in the gasoline
vapor space near the open mouth of the gas can, a fire occurs.


*  Use only an approved container.

*  Do not fill any container while it is inside a vehicle, a vehicles
trunk, pick-up bed, or on any surface other than the ground.
   This includes pick-up trucks, sports utility vehicles, vans and

*  Remove the approved container from the vehicle and place it on the
ground a safe distance away from the vehicle, other customers and traffic.

*  Keep the nozzle in contact with the can during filling.

*  Never use a latch-open device to fill a portable container.

*  Follow all other safety procedures, including "No Smoking".

If you should have any questions regarding this message please contact
me at 980-5021, thank you.

Subj:	Re: Re[4]: SAFETY
Date:	96-11-01 11:10:05 EST
From:	This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (K2AOU)

On Fri, 1 Nov 1996, Bill Dickerson wrote:

| I've heard off list from one list member who claims that since the
|   truck is not grounded (rubber tires) it wouldn't make any difference
|   anyway. His logic seems good.
|   I'm not wanting to dispute his logic/thoughts, but there is a reason
|   that trucks carrying cargo, like UPS,  use grounding leads to the
|   road.... and the grease caps on front hubs of autos used to have a
|   ground strap/spring in  them.

I don't know if I should repeat this story or not, but here goes...
In 1968 I bought a nice new 426 HEMI Charger R/T and I put a set of
nice new Cragar chrome mag wheels on it.

Well, the neighborhood dogs took to them like a fire hydrant.
I was livid!  Being on the farm, I had a fence charger handy
nearby and I decided to connect it to the car.

Guess what - it didn't work.  The rubber and other compounds
in the tires will conduct the electrical shock to ground and
render it harmless.  I had wanted the electrical pathway to
go through other parts of the dog's anatomy via the stream.

Later experimentation disclosed that the tires had to be run up
on wood to provide the appropriate insulation.  I don't think
you guys need to worry a whole lot about grounding your trucks.

-- Harry

Subj:	Re[6]: SAFETY
Date:	96-11-01 14:12:45 EST
From:	Bill Dickerson

Hi Harry,
  I take for granted that the "experimentation" you did included
  testing this procedure yourself first, in order to insure the dog
  would get what he had coming to him.




     I can't even think about that!



Subj:	Re[6]: SAFETY -Reply
Date:	96-11-01 14:41:54 EST
From:	This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Fred Alexander)


I knew an individual who had planted a very nice and expensive tree in
his yard that really attracted a neighbor's dog.  Every morning the dog
made a visit to this tree and left a deposit that was killing the lower limbs
of the tree.  The "friend" drove several stakes into the ground and hung
chicken wire on insulators.  He then soaked the ground and attached an
electric cord; one wire to the chicken wire and the other to a spike driven
into the mud.  The other end of the electric cord went to a light socket
where the bulb served as a fuse. (he didn't have a fence charger.)  The
next morning the dog started his business at the tree and was last seen
running down the road on his front two legs.  For the next month the dog
would come down the road, stop at the property edge, yelp, run across
the street, pass the house, cut back across the road, and continue on
his route. It proved to be very effective.

Subj:	Re: Re[2]: SAFETY
Date:	96-11-01 20:35:25 EST
From:	This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Rob Skinner)

At 10:00 AM 11/2/96 +1100, you wrote:
|I've seen a guy fill a mower can in the front seat of his car, it went up in
|flames - probably static from the chair or carpet.

Some people will do anything for attention! 

Ken Evans, one of our club members, brought up this issue at one of our
recent meetings. Kelley, our Chevron connection, confirmed the danger with
internal memos and technical bulletins.  If you want more gasoline safety
tips, go to and check out the technical bulletins section.

Static electricity can accumulate from the flow of the fuel.  Then you end
up with a five gallon Faraday jar, and the electricity can discharge to the
metallic filling nozzle .  FWOOSH!  Keep the nozzle in contact with the gas
can while filling, place the gas can on a grounded surface, and of course
remove the gas can from the vehicle before filling.  

Oh yeah, try not to splash when you're refilling your running engines and
smoking cigarettes.

Rob Skinner  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.