free hit
counters
Petrol Station Forecourts and Mobile Phones - Page 3 - Lotus / Motoring / Cars Chat - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


Petrol Station Forecourts and Mobile Phones


Recommended Posts

Fast forward to the year 2050........

Shell Electric announced today their findings that the act of plugging in one's EV for a chargeup at the new Electron Express filling stations can in some circumstances cause severe, even fatal, electrocution. Shell officials have issued a nationwide advisory for patrons to don rubber gloves prior to each recharge visit as a precaution, and have begun installing glove dispenser kiosks at their stations as rapidly as possible. In line with their current policy of charging for air and water (for the few remaining hybrids on the road), a nominal fee will be collected at the kiosks for this service. Future plans call for rubber booties being available for purchase as well. Parliament has lauded Shell's concern for their customers, and has promised swift legislation to mandate the practice.

In related news, this reporter has unequivocally determined from his research of numerous historical studies that the now legendary stories of mobile phone usage causing explosions at the now defunct old style petrol stations are completely bogus, as are the parallel claims of mobile usage causing cancer. It is this reporter's firm belief that frequent usage of mobile phones has not affected him a bit...a bit...a bit....a bit....

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.
  • Replies 110
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Very interesting posts - cetainly taught me stuff I didn't know. But I still think its B'x. What have been described here are various risk scenarios. All of them are "very low" risk, and most are

But seriously don't you think airlines have already done this or is their approach to safety 'Please turn your phone off, thanks'. If there really was a serious concern, in fact even a minor concern p

Posted Images

I also feel a few people don't really believe that mobile phones are capable of starting a fuel vapor fire. Perhaps they have too much faith in the scientific abilities of the Myth Busters. I was able to find a very basic experiment showing a mobile phone igniting petrol vapor on youtube.

This isn't a particularly accurate experiment but it shows how without too precise a set of conditions a phone can start a fire. He is using his phone very close though so in practice it would not be quite so likely to start a fire if you were slightly further away, but certainly there is some risk.

I'm not sure I trust the YouTube video over the Mythbusters episode. In fact, I don't know of any reputable investigation into the mechanism or possibility of it happening. Snopes.com has a good review of the situation regarding reports of phones starting fires but no reference to any scientific experimentation. However, the Federal Communications Commission has made up its mind as this advisory shows.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect the lack of reported incidences may be related to the fact that until recently people respected the wisdom of petrol companies and mobile phone manufacturers. Now that Myth Busters has convinced most people that there is absolutely no risk it shouldn't be too long till there are a few incidences to support the science.

I put a great deal more faith in that youtube video than I do in the Myth Busters episode. The setup of the experiments show that Myth Busters had no understanding of the science behind the phenomenon. There needs to some conductor to act as a receiver in order for the microwave energy to be converted into a spark. Myth Busters did not have any receiver, only the handset. The pointless things they did to try to encourage a fire like removing the insulation from the phone antenna further proved their ignorance. While the youtube video experiment is very crude, the person who filmed it obviously had an understanding of the science.

I pray that one day Myth Busters employs some real scientists, preferably from a country where George Bush Jr would not be able to graduate from the country's two most prestigious universities.

In the interests of science I implore everyone who doesn't believe a mobile phone can start a fuel vapor fire to use your mobile phones as frequently as possible while refueling. It could take a while but your co-operation in this experiment would be appreciated. Post your results back here as soon as your burns have recovered enough to allow you to type.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a chance that you'll be sick from talking to me. Someone who I spoke to once then went on to be sick, that's where I'm drawing my conclusion from although millions of others I've talked to seem to be fine. Sure, there could be a host of other reasons, I even saw them eat an undercooked sausage in the middle of our conversation but rather than having to stop them eating sausages I think they should stop talking to me.

That's how this looks. Cause/effect aren't tallying and Mike is right, there's a risk that while you're walking along talking on your phone you'll trip and break a bone and in fact there are probably more documented cases of this but it doesn't stop you using the phone yet you seem very passionate about doing it in a petrol station. No petrol station has ever had a fire caused by a mobile phone and if we're reasonable and to use past experience as a guide, none ever will. If it really were that dangerous, it would be a legal requirement to switch off your phone while fuelling and in the UK where legislation for safety is rife, it's not the case. I am amazed however that auto-fill pumps are allowed to be left unattended to allow women to do their make up, that's proven to start fires and you don't see 'stay by the pump' stickers at petrol stations, you see 'no mobile phones'. They may as we say 'no wearing sunglasses' for the relevance to the cause of the danger.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You are right, there are no documented instances of mobile phones causing fuel vapor fires that I know of. The risk is definitely very minimal. Being able to be on the phone at any given moment is very important. I concede that I am wrong on this issue, it is obvious that it is impossible for mobile phones to ignite fuel vapor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The phrase used is 'As Low As Reasonably Practicable' if the risk of injury can be demonstarted to be 'as low as reasonably practicable' then it is accepted.

Mobiles can put out plenty of power relative to their size, but nowhere near as much as my car's ignition system.

What is more ilkely: a very specific sized antennae in a puddle of fuel for a mobile phone transmission, or a car parked over a petrol puddle with a burned through ignition wire?

I maintain it was a problem when mobiles had massive batteries and could broadcast hundreds of watts to get a signal, but now it simply does not apply.

One story I read was that it could upset some pumps and cause them to reset during fills... which sounds more realistic!

Bit like mobiles on planes, if a moble endagered the aircraft then we would have a lot more problems, they simply don't it's more likely to be caused by paranoia and all the mobiles hopping towers at once killing the networks... probably pushed by the in flight phone companies...

Lotus Esprit S4 - Work in progress

Porsche 924 Turbo - Parts chaser

Smart Roadster Coupe - Hers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another factor that does not seem to be garnering much discussion here is the fuel vapour itself.

It takes a concentration of approximately 13.8% fuel to air mixture to form an explosive vapour mixture in 'normal' atmospheric conditions (I was told once by a fireman). If there is a breeze on the forecourt, it becomes difficult to achieve those conditions at the exit of the tank pipe and one can assume that the mixture inside the filler pipe is considerably more concentrated so it should be extremely difficult, but not impossible, to reach the correct conditions for ignition.

That said, if there is a risk, I still prefer not to answer/use a mobile in the vicinity of an open fuel container (of any kind).

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.<br />

<br />

In practice, there is!

Link to post
Share on other sites

What have been described here are various risk scenarios. All of them are "very low" risk, and most are miniscule. By legislating against miniscule risk taking, the authorities are attempting to achieve to a zero risk. "But if it saves one life...." No....zero risk means not doing anything at all ever.

[snip]

So what we really need to do is be a bit more realistic, honest and consistent about what level of carnage we are willing to risk. Then expect a bit of self responsibility from everybody not to be a complete twat instead of trying to invent a new rule for every situation where someone might get hurt. Obviously there will have to be a new offence called something like "dangerous living" to put a reign on the complete twats - but at least the rest of us shouldn't then have to put up with quite so much tosh being put about on the back of Health and Safety. "But if it saves just one life....." No....!!!

I look forward to the backlash against Elfin Safety... the Darwinian approach: "If it only kills one idiot, it will have been worthwhile" gets my vote :ice:

Imagine, no more coffee cups with "caution - contents may be hot", or bags of peanuts with "Warning: contains nuts", or cheese labelled prominently with "Contains milk" or all the rest of the myriad patronising signage and labelling that has sprung up in the last decade :clap:

Edited by Dan

Dan

"He who dies with the most toys wins..."

Link to post
Share on other sites

According to Tesco, their fresh trout may contain fish! :lol:

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan, your observation leads to another issue in the US: Rather than "profiling" with intelligence like the Israelis do accompanied by bomb sniffing dogs, the US is so concerned about possible racial overtones and being politically correct that we now are having women forced to remove their breast prosthesis or the man having urine from his ostomy bag squeezed all over him from an aggressive total "pat down" (If that's what you call it) despite telling the TSA agent in advance about his medical condition. There is no operator intelligence or skill behind the scanner screening so if they spot anything your whole body is subject to a pat down. (I know first hand as a wearer of an insulin pump that also told the TSA agents in advance. The plastic tube to my abdomen from my pump appearing on the scan has nothing to do with my groin thank you!!!) Meanwhile someone on the inside in baggage handling could be placing a bomb, as drugs have been moved in the past . Ready, fire, aim but rest assured no minorities should feel singled out as we all get groped together) I also hear the scanner does not probe internally , so any suicide bomber wanting to carry a device in his rectum can. Next up will be the TSA's right to probe tor for that. "Sir, the good news is you are not carrying a bomb, but you might wish to consult a Doctor about your prostate " detective.gif

Edited by comem47
Link to post
Share on other sites

Reminds me of the attempts to warn nut allergy sufferers through legislation that food products may contain nuts.

End result, everyone just blanket places a general "may contain nuts" warning on their packaging. Legislation complied with, but now no benefit cause they've all got it on! Total crap!!

Apart from the H & S debate about planes I can't ever see the airline industry allowing it, as they can make money from forcing people to pay for mobile phones through their own networks, and dressing it up as a H & S issue.

Regards

Mat

post-1-0302470001278592957.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there not some corporate responsibility or morality that says that companies can't just lie to us?

Going back to the original point, I'm sure that I've been told on planes to turn off my phone as it interferes with the aircraft systems. If that's not the case and Orange/O2 are too lazy do deal with the problem but just pay the carrier to lie to us I'll be very upset.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Plane's vital sytems are shielded to electromagnetic intereference - it migh interefere with the onboard entertainment system though (der-di-di-di-der-etc over the speakers)

The bulk mobiles switching cells sounds reasonable though

Also the uncontrolled nature of the mobiles - there isn't one mobile spec so it covers all portable/mobile phones just in case.

I wonder if anyone has tested the endangering aircraft thing?

I know people have been arrested for it, but has anyone challenged it in court I wonder?

Go on then how did my nokia endanger the aircraft... is it not qualified against EM? Oh it is - So what's the problem then?

Lotus Esprit S4 - Work in progress

Porsche 924 Turbo - Parts chaser

Smart Roadster Coupe - Hers

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to find out whether or not using a mobile on a jet airliner will interfere with its systems, can I suggest you:

1) Learn to fly a jet airliner;

2) Buy your own jet airliner; and

3) Fly your own jet airliner gassing on your mobile to your heart's content.

Seeking to conduct your own experiment with a plane full of people and crew who haven't consented to your trying to prove the aircrew wrong strikes me as selfish as one of the likely consequences of you being wrong is being smeared over a large area of countryside or ocean.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But seriously don't you think airlines have already done this or is their approach to safety 'Please turn your phone off, thanks'. If there really was a serious concern, in fact even a minor concern phones would have to be turned off by law or in hold luggage.

The very fact that they don't really care that much shows that there's no real risk.

We've quite a few pilots on here, anyone care to chime in with examples where a mobile phone has shown any more of a problem than the embarrassment of an owner when everyone finds out their ringtone is 'my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard'?

  • Like 1

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

And if one dinky mobile phone is enough to screw up an airliner's electronics, how come big chunks of airspace aren't closed every time there's thunder and lightning forecast?!

Or am I displaying gross ignorance regarding volts, amps, watts and such like? :blink:

Dan

"He who dies with the most toys wins..."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, it's not so much that a mobile will or has interfered with an aircraft flight system it's the fact that it could and the risk however small is completely avoidable, switch them all off.

also you're thinking why can't I use MY mobile on a plane, if you can so can everyone else and all of a sudden you've got 200 people making those important & urgent phone calls to find out what they're missing on the telly.

All it would take is a badly shielded, or indeed damaged shielding on a system and a new type of mobile that everyone must, just must have and a plane is suddenly heading toward the north pole instead of Barbados, or worse.

Also the mast switching argument is bollox, if major mobile phone carriers can't handle a couple of hundred phone switching at the same time they seriously need to rethink their systems, I work in telephony (probably why I hate mobiles) and we deal with systems that handle users in the 10s of thousands and we're by no means a major player.

Edited by lrg_machine

Jez

Mean Green S4s

I think therefore I am - Descartes

I'm pink therefore I'm spam - Eric Idle

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I am with Justin on this and have managed to keep out of the discussion to now for a number of reasons mainly lack of time and getting annoyed by much of what has been written. Lots of interesting points made from every corner of the ring and this post isn`t going to further expound any technical reasoning but I sincerely hope the vast majority of posters never come anywhere near the petrochemical industry. I live, eat, work, sleep etc. on a potential floating bomb that doesn`t go bang and put me into orbit, simply because of these rules. (It is an oil production and floating storage vessel & we are sitting on up to 300,000 Barrels of crude oil. Say very roughly 47,700 m3 or 74,700,000 ltrs or 19,700,000 US Gals) The trouble is there is no differential between a filling station and a petrochemical plant by rules because the internationally agreed definitions which encompass one, also encompasses the other. I appreciate the big brothers contingent response to that, but it is a fact of life so we get used to it here at least.

Every part of the vessel is rated for different hazard classifications and all equipment used within those zones has to comply with different levels of protection. In the Explosive (Ex. Class 1) rated areas where hydrocarbon vavours are likely to be present at any times (i.e. forecourt) we allow nothing that can cause a spark. Not even steel hammers or alloy ladders. No portable electrical equipment (inc. Mobiles) are allowed outside of the accommodation block and that is protected by airlocks and being at a higher pressure differential to outside (so no gas ingress). Some of our clients search baggage before boarding the helicopter and remove phone batteries and seal both in different bags for duration of hitch. If you get back ashore with broken seals then you are likely to be fired for cause. If I want to use any non Ex. rated equipment outside, like say a camera then I have to have a Permit to Work signed by about 4 different people and a portable gas meter running at all times. That will seem so OTT for some posters here, but a simple everyday fact of life in the industry and keeps me alive. This is the same industry who the press love to take down everytime we have a woopsie. Can you imagine if we had a blinding flash taced to a mobile phone and another Deepwater Horizon incident? After they had the gas cloud created (through bad well management) something ignighted it despite being an Ex. area. Could 1 guy have had a phone in his pocket secretly? We would be ridiculed by the same posters that consider it a waste of time in a forecourt saying we are a cowboy industry.

The US guys will be more familiar with this but BP had an incident about 5 years ago that resulted in a number of deaths due to a fire at the Texas City refinery. Again they had a blinding flash after poor work practices created a gas cloud. Ignition that evening was traced to contractors with trucks in the vicinity - that shouldn`t have been there- sitting with engines running to get the AC to cool the cabs before going home. That case is still going through the courts. Our industry journals are full of stuff world wide like that, that does not make the public conciousness as the press haven`t made it so. Also be aware that not all gas clouds are explosive. I can`t watch Mythbusters here but hyrocarbons will only ignite in the explosive range and every gas is different. Gas can be below or above the explosive limit (LEL/UEL) However if gas was present above the UEL then granted somewhere on the pheriperal of that it is within the range.

As far as the phones on planes thing. I do not know the technicalities of it and will leave that to the pilots but I spend too much of my life flying, taking around 60 flights a year, 50% long haul and we have all forgotten to switch off at different times and have then had a pile of messages saying welcome to our network etc. for all the overflying countries on arrival at the other end! Ooops! Also the industry I believe are considering allowing their use and have been asking the various questions of the end business users about our feelings for a while now so it possibly isn`t about safety anyway but $$$$. My concern is it is the last mobile free zone we have so please allow it to remain so!! I do not want to be sitting next to golden gob telling the whole plane his business for 12 hours. I have sat listening to some poseur on the provided extorinate Sat one he "loves his baby" and that was bad enough.

Oh well I resisted for 5 pages.

A LEGS man and proud to declare it! Lotus Enthusiasts Group Scotland

Autocar's Best UK Drivers Car 2009. Car's Performance Car of the Year 2009; Evo's Car of the Year 2009. Top Gear Sports Car of the Year 2009

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there not some corporate responsibility or morality that says that companies can't just lie to us?

Just for good measure I thought all telcos must have special dispensation, allowing them to lie through their teeth. They all seem to be as bad as each other and rarely prosecuted. :rant:

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the Explosive (Ex. Class 1) rated areas where hydrocarbon vavours are likely to be present at any times (i.e. forecourt) we allow nothing that can cause a spark. Not even steel hammers or alloy ladders.

How would you feel about me parking my car there, turbo still glowing red hot and not a million miles away from the fuel filler? BP don't seem to mind.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting and informative post Allan. That's alot of cargo!

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I am with Justin on this

Interesting post Al....but I'm not sure it goes against grain the thread does it? What you seem to be saying is that there is good evidence that in the non-forecourt environment that you know about the conditions have arisen that have caused dangerous events/damage/injuries/death. In such circs we'd all expect to learn from those events with the new data changing the likelihood dramatically and also allowing the mitigation to be proportionate and directed towards a more specific risk that there is knowledge of. You're allowed to use your mobiles in the accommodation block right? - presumably cos noone has ever been blown up in there? Nothing like the rather alarmist :scared: "switch everything off everywhere or something might happen cos there's flamable stuff about".

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

Link to post
Share on other sites

737adi.JPG

Well, as Al has stepped up to the plate for the maritime side of the story, I suppose I ought to reciprocate and toss my two bits into the ring regarding the airbourne side. And two bits is about all it can be, as I've not encountered any hard evidence during my years as a commercial pilot (now, as most know, retired) of mobile/cell phones causing documented incidences of interference with a flight's progress.

However, I have been told first hand by a fellow crewmember of a case where an aircraft with our company was on final approach in instrument condtions, flying an ILS [instrument landing system] procedure, and encountered "anomalies" on the cockpit displays. They were associated with guidance cues ("steering bars" for pitch and roll on the ADI (attitude and direction indicator, or "artificial horizon")) giving erroneous commands--"wavering," as it were. This can sometimes be caused by poor signals from the ground based navigational aid, but the bars usually settle down as you get closer in. Apparently in this instance the unreliable steering commands persisted to the extent that the pilot not flying called up the flight attendants via interphone to ask if anyone was using a cell (the U.S. term) phone in the cabin. Sure enough, there was, and they were asked to turn it off. They did, and the flight instruments returned to a steady guidance normal mode.

Was this coincidental, or causal? I don't know, I wasn't there. Was it creating an unsafe approach? Not in a radical manner, but steady guidance is always preferable to questionable guidance.

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having had an interest and involvement in motor sport over many years, yes I have witnessed the consequences of a petrol fire. Any one recall the death of Roger Williamson ? the most terrible thing in motor racing.

I may well be the only person who has both a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket in his kitchen, as I said in a different thread, I have witnessed a driver being extracted and wrapped in foil after being burned, I can still hear him screaming 25 years later.

I couldn't give a' if the risk is 1000,000,000 to 1 why take it if you don't have to.

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...