Why is it prohibited to use mobile phones in a fuel station? do they cause fires?
There is a wide rumour that using mobile phones in a fuel station may cause a fire. It is said that this occurs due to radio frequencies emitted by the mobile phone. But mobile phones emit a very low-frequency radio signal which may not be enough to start a fire as the rumours say. The frequencies emitted from a standardized mobile phone are between 450 and 2700 MHz. The value of power emitted will be between 0.1 and 2 watts. So can such small energy start a fire at a fuel station?
According to science, this is not possible. The energy emitted from a mobile phone is about 1w/cm2. So how can a mobile phone start a fire at a fuel station? Well, this may be caused due to defective batteries of a mobile phone. Defective batteries can cause sparks which may start a fire at a fuel station.
Why is the usage of mobile phones banned at fuel stations then? This is because mobile phones are considered a cause of distraction. If you are distracted on a fuel station while refuelling this may cause various problems. For instance, if you get distracted and move the car while the fueling process is still ongoing, it may cause fuel leaks that may cause a fire. Or else you may collide with another vehicle in the fuel station which may cause a fire or other injuries.
So, however, using mobile phones at fuel stations is not recommended in any way, but not due to the cause explained by rumours.
Studies conducted –
Energy Institute in conjunction with Intellect, the trade association for IT, Telecomms and Electronics industries in the UK, conducted a study into the risks of ignition of flammable vapours by mobile phones.
The results of the study were presented at a technical seminar hosted by the EI in March 2003.
“The main conclusions were that: There were no confirmed ignition incidents associated with mobile phones anywhere in the world.
More supporting facts –
At present, many fuel stations have the facility of paying the fuel charge via your mobile phone (mobile wallet). So if you can not use a mobile phone in a fuel station, how can you pay via mobile phone?