Following a relatively safe year in 2013, Fort Bragg safety officials stress the dangers posed by unsafe vehicle fueling practices at on-post gas stations.
The exchange staff members have observed an increase in patrons using electronic devices while refueling and smoking while refueling. Additionally, drivers have been seen leaving their vehicles unattended during fueling operations and using unapproved containers to store dispensed fuel.
Gasoline is an extremely volatile substance with a low flashpoint; meaning it doesn’t take much to ignite the fumes. Fumes escape while fuel is flowing and accumulate in the area. Something as small as a static spark can ignite the fumes, engulfing the person fueling the vehicle, the car or truck and gas pump in flames.
“Coming off of a relatively safe year in 2013, we want to continue to make Fort Bragg as safe a community as possible. We urge those using gas stations on post to be more attentive when fueling their vehicles, and most certainly to not smoke at the gas pump,” said Rich Eppler, Fort Bragg Garrison safety officer.
Eppler urges the community to read and comply with the safety instructions posted on the fuel pump.
Exchange employees have been instructed to shut off the fuel supply if a patron is observed violating basic safety standards for dispensing fuel, Eppler said.
What to Do
For your safety and the safety of others, always comply with established safety rules when dispensing fuel. If you encounter a problem while refueling, your first responsibility is to stop the flow of fuel by releasing the nozzle lever. Know where the main fuel pump shutoff switch is located. If you observe an unsafe act, immediately bring it to the attention of the fueling station staff member.