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Guide

Wireless Devices at Gas Stations

Background

The Federal Communications Commission has been alerted to reports and rumors that suggest it is dangerous to use a wireless phone while filling your vehicle with gas or in the presence of flammable materials.

The rumors and reports may be fueled by warnings posted at gas stations or included in wireless phone owners’ manuals suggesting that wireless phones should not be used around fuel vapors.

There Is No Evidence That These Reports Are True

One of the rumors circulating describes incidents where consumers are injured by fires or explosions when they use their cell phones at gas stations. In these stories, a fire was reportedly ignited or an explosion occurred when an individual answered a ringing cell phone. Supposedly, an electrical spark from the phone ignited a fire or caused an explosion.

The wireless industry has done studies on the potential for wireless phones to create sparks that could possibly ignite flammable materials. The studies generally conclude that while it may be theoretically possible for a spark from a cell phone battery to ignite gas vapor under very precise conditions, there is no documented incident where the use of a wireless phone was found to cause a fire or explosion at a gas station.

While any potential threat by wireless devices is very remote, there are potential ignition sources at gas stations like automobiles and static electricity. The wireless industry suggests wireless phone users should always consult their owner’s manuals for information on the use of the phone and should follow all posted instructions at gas stations.

Scientific testing, however, has not established a dangerous link between wireless phones and fuel vapors. Wireless phone manufacturers and fuel companies have issued these warnings as a precaution. If you have questions about your wireless phone, contact your wireless phone company.

For More Information

For information about other communications issues, visit the FCC’s Consumer website or contact the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) for voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) for TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232 or writing to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

Print Out

Wireless Devices at Gas Stations Guide (pdf)

Reviewed: March 12, 2014
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