Stop Static

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This is a chain e-mail. It first appeared in May 2002.

Please read! This is an actual happening in Cape Girardeau. The wonder is that more people are not killed this way.

The incident with Lisa Scherer is true and happened in Cape Girardeau at the Huck's convenient store just a few weeks ago. Please be aware of this. Lisa Scherer did not have her two babies with her but she did have an older daughter that had gone in to get a soda. It was truly a miracle that no one got hurt.

Tue, 16 Apr 2002 00:24:25 +0000

Hello everyone, I just had an interesting call from Bob Renkes of Petroleum Equipment Institute. Mr. Renkes was calling all the Scherer's in Oran trying to reach Lisa Scherer - the one whose van burnt at Hucks. The company he works for is on a campaign to try and make people aware of fires as a result of "static" at gas pumps. His company has researched 150 cases of these fires. His results were very surprising to me:

1) Out of 150 cases, almost all of them were women.

2) Almost all cases involved the person getting back in their vehicle while the nozzle was still pumping gas. When finished  they went back to pull the nozzle out the fire started, as a result of static.

3) Most had on rubber-soled shoes.

4) Most men never get back in their vehicle until completely finished. This is why they are seldom involved in these types of fires.

5) Don't ever use cell phones when pumping gas.

6) It's the vapors that come out of the gas that cause the fire, when connected with static charges.

7) Several of the 150 cases (not nearly all, but several) involved 1994 Dodge Caravans. (They don't know why, possibly more static). After finding out that I usually go back in the van while I am filling the it with gas, Mr. Renkes stressed to me NEVER do that. If you absolutely HAVE to get in your vehicle while the gas is pumping, make sure you get out, close the door, TOUCHING THE METAL,
before you ever pull the nozzle out. This way the static from your body will be discharged before you ever remove the nozzle. As I mentioned earlier, The Petroleum Equipment Institute, along with several other companies now, are really trying to make the public aware of this danger. You can find out more information by going to . Once here, click in the center of the screen where it says "Stop Static".

This appears to be a mish-mash of real and bogus information:

The most telling section of the report is the following which clearly shows that there is no scientific proof to this theory: "The author of this report is not an expert on static electricity. It does appear to many people in the industry, however, that electrostatic charging was the probable cause of the fires."

This final statement  from the report is the most telling: "Americans pump gasoline into their cars between 16 and 18 billion times a year without incident"

If you receive a message about this then please ignore it and don't pass it on as this only serves to propagate it when a bit of common sense is all that is needed.

If you want to know more, or read the report, then please use this link: Stop Static Central

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