Once up on a time, filling up meant swinging by your local petrol station to have your tank refuelled by a friendly pump attendant then moving along your merry way. Since the very first one way back in 1888 however, petrol stations have been given quite the modern makeover and safety is more important than ever.
In fact, petrol station precautions are taken so seriously these days that companies like Forum Insurance are even offering forecourt insurance to protect the most common and notorious safety hazards.
When you visit a petrol station in this day and age, you’re often getting way more than just a thirst quencher for your fuel tank.
Now there are all manner of services provided at your local petrol station. You can top up the weekly shop, withdraw some cash and get your car washed all on the same forecourt which means precautionary measures have been increased tenfold.
Here are some helpful hints to make sure you and those around you stay safe at the pump:
Our top 5 petrol station safety tips
Always turn your engine off before filling up your tank, even if your passenger begs you to leave the radio on so they can sing along to their favourite tune while you’re gone.
Once the nozzle has engaged with the filler neck and the gas is flowing into the vehicle, don’t try to extract the pump until the fuel has stopped, even in case of a fire. In fact, especially in case of a fire – in this case, leave the pump intact and get yourself and any passengers in the car to safety.
Whether it’s a tiny little city car, a great big four by four, a huge articulated lorry or just a portable fuel container, never overfill your container. Only ever fill the vessel up to 95% to allow for expansion and movement.
If do happen to find yourself at the petrol station filling up a portable fuel container, make sure you do so on the ground and not in or on the vehicle. We’re all human and spillages are inevitable (especially on the rush hour commute) so this precaution will ensure so flammable liquid leaks onto your vehicle, clothes or possessions.
Another simple but effective safety measure which you should always take advantage of when filling up the tank is to cover your hands with the disposable gloves provided and/or wash your hands thoroughly after. If you’re on the move, the best way to ensure any harmful substances are kept at bay is to keep a little bottle of antibacterial hand gel in your glove compartment.
Petrol and planning your journey
Preparing for a long journey or even just a leisurely afternoon drive can become super stressful if you haven’t done the right preliminary planning. Checking your tyre air pressure, oil levels and route beforehand is all key to hassle-free travelling but knowing your petrol pit stops ahead of time is a tip top tip.
Making sure you’ve got a suitably full tank is textbook travel prep but if you fail to do that or if you’re embarking on a particularly lengthy expedition, make sure you know where your nearest fuel stations are along the way. You can rely on good old Google to supply you with this information before you head off or take advantage of the plethora of handy apps available to find out en route.