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Author Topic: Hidden Danger  (Read 9164 times)

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Offline woodbowl

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Hidden Danger
« on: March 07, 2006, 08:23:54 PM »
     Have you ever suddenly been aware of a danger in a simple everyday task, one that you've done a hundred times before and one that everyone does without a second thought? We hear stories about lightning comming in the house, a child finding cleaning chemicals under the sink, breathing formaldehyde from wall paneling ect. I will forever be a different person as of last week.
     Like any other day before going to my mill, I would stop off at the store and get a cup of coffee, grab a snack for later and fill up my gas cans in the back of the truck. Nothing unusual about it. Take off the gas caps, get the gas hose, slide the plastic gas jugs where I can reach them and start filling them up with gas. The plastic bed liner in the back of my truck is so nice. It's easy to keep clean, drains real good and reduces friction when I need to slide something around.
      After filling up the jugs, I started putting the caps back on. There were a stack of blades beside me and all of a sudden........POW........ my hair stood up and my socks rolled down. I recieved a static shock on my elbow like an electric fence would feel. I Immediately remembered seeing the news about someone doing the same thing, except that their truck was engulfed in flames. The fire was blamed on static electricity. I never would have thought that it could happen in a small town and certainly not to me.
     Now when I fill up, the first thing I do is take my shocking by touching all the metal in the back of the truck, including the truck itself.  Filling my gas cans will never be the same. I'm a believer!
Full time custom sawing at the customers site since 1995.  WoodMizer LT40 Super Hyd.

Offline Tom

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2006, 08:27:52 PM »
.....and the really important thing they say to do is put the cans on the ground away from the truck to fill them.
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Offline jon12345

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006, 09:17:42 PM »
Talking on a cell phone while refueling has also been blamed as the cause of some fires at the pump.
A.A.S. in Forest Technology.....Ironworker

Offline rebocardo

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2006, 10:15:28 PM »
> Filling my gas cans will never be the same

I hope this means you are going to fill them up when they are on the ground and not in the truck.

Otherwise, just touching the metal of the truck is useless as a preventive measure. The static spark that ignites the gasoline (vapors) happens INSIDE the container caused by the gasoline swirling around as you pump it in, on a non-conductive (plastic bed liner) surface.

Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2006, 11:16:22 PM »

 Hmmm, I was told that sliding those plastic cans on the plastic bed liner was where the static came from.

  Also, I saw on the tube one night, that cell phones directly were not the cause of fires, but, rather, women especially, sliding back INTO the car and then sliding back out (cell phone) was how the static charge was built up ???  Must be a hundred explanations ???

  I know that some days, when I get outta the Dodge, I get busted, other days, nada ???
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Offline crtreedude

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006, 05:59:07 AM »
Wow - that will wake you right up!

You know, one thing that is really really nice down here is that you almost never experience static electricity. Too much humidity. When we first moved here, the sheets always felt damp - now they are fine - must be climate change...  ;) Nope, we got used to it.

There is moisture in the air all the time, even during the dry season. I tried to explain static electricity one day - failed. Hard for people here to believe that just by moving you will build up an electrical charge. I tried to convince them it was my personality that did it - but they weren't buying it.  ::)

The one that I always watch is ladders. I was up on a ladder once, near the top, and the bottom kicked out and I rode the ladder down as it fell. Not a pleasant experience. I hit hard enough that it hurt a lot - thankfully nothing broken. Now, when I put up a ladder, I check and recheck to make sure the bottom is solid. If I have to, I will drive stakes in to make sure it doesn't slide out!

Living down here will wake you up too. Don't walk down the sidewalks thinking they will be in one piece. Sometimes there is a huge hole in the middle - and sometimes it isn't recent. You also drive carefully, because of deforestation, we get landslides. Coming out of Ciudad Quesada there is a really bad section, just in under 2 years we have had 2 big landslides there.  You learn to stay put during heavy rainstorms.  :o

So, how did I end up here anyway?

Offline Dale Hatfield

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006, 11:11:45 AM »
The one that gets me is the Bike riders at the gas station that are still sitting on the bike when they fill it up while they balance the bike.
One slip and they will be a ball of flames from the gas hitting hot exhaust.

I hate the static charge I get from either of our trucks.  I don't know if it comes from sliding in an out because of being short or if their is a generator in their somewhere,made to nail me.

Dale
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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2006, 02:16:59 PM »

  Anybody here old enuff to remember them "Ground Straps" what youster hang down under the cars and trucks ???
All truth passes through three stages:
   First, it is ridiculed;
   Second, it is violently opposed; and
   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Offline crtreedude

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2006, 04:12:34 PM »
Nah, I am not as old as you....  ;D

 :-[ Yes, I remember...  :-[
So, how did I end up here anyway?

Offline Tom

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2006, 04:33:57 PM »
Yep!   I remember fuel tankers flyng down the road with a chain bouncing on the road beneath and throwing sparks that could be seen at night for 5 miles.
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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2006, 04:49:27 PM »

 Yer gonna get yours--Dude boy.  >:( :o
All truth passes through three stages:
   First, it is ridiculed;
   Second, it is violently opposed; and
   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Offline crtreedude

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2006, 04:56:31 PM »
Your profile is wrong - you are somewhere in Florida right now - so I am safe!  :D
So, how did I end up here anyway?

Offline moosehunter

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2006, 05:30:37 PM »
They still make ground straps. The parts store that delivers to us has them on all the trucks so the drivers don't get shocked on every entry/exit from the truck.

The static thing........
 Three years ago my mom ( 65ish) was filling her riding mower before she started mowing. When the plastic tank in the tractor was full she pulled the plastic gas can back from the tractor a spark was created.
 It burned the tractor to an unrecognizable pile of steel and burned up the very nice old apple tree it was under. The fire company got there in time to keep the fire from spreading to the house.
 Mom was shaken but not burned.
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Higher than my expectations
Well, I have really good days".    Ray Wylie Hubbard

Offline Corley5

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2006, 09:44:04 AM »
I've always filled cans in the back of the truck but don't anymore not only because of the danger but there is a $500.00 fine if you get caught doing it by a law enforcement officer.  If our station clerks see you filling cans in the back of a truck they'll shut off the pump
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Offline Roxie

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2006, 12:24:52 PM »
I guess that's a luxury only permitted in Costa Rica.   ;D
Save a farm today or starve tomorrow.

Offline RSteiner

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2006, 07:10:35 AM »
When the humidity is low the chance for static sparking is greater.  Not only should the container you are fill with fuel be on the ground the nozzle from the gas pump should be touching the plastic container.

Just the action or friction of the fuel hitting the sides of a plastic container can and does cause the potential for a static discharge.  A freind was pouring solvent into a plastic liner drum in the winter, less than five gallons, when it flashed into a fire ball. 

A bonding wire between the tank dispencing the fuel and the container recieving the fuel would be the best set-up.  Making sure the filler spout and the fuel can spout touch while fuel is flowing is another safe practice.

Several fires have happened when a person on a cold day starts putting gas in the car sets the automatic feed lever and then gets back in the car.  When they slide back out of the seat to remove the nozzle a static discharge has happened when they touch any metal.

Randy
Randy

Offline DanG

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2006, 11:30:52 AM »
Sparks from static is not the only reason to not fill your cans in the truck bed.  Gasoline fumes are heavier than air, and will collect in the truck bed, becoming a potential bomb.  A static spark could set them off, but so could any number of other ignition sources.  Just guarding against static sparks does not make it a safe practice.  The same applies to boats.  Setting the tanks on the ground does nothing to prevent static buildup, it merely allows the fumes to dissipate.

Just a tip for preventing the shock when you disembark from your vehicle; put your hand on the metal door before you put your foot on the ground.  The spark will be between your shoe and the ground, and you won't feel it. :)
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Offline UNCLEBUCK

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2006, 12:07:23 AM »
This is interesting stuff ! At small airports there use to be a grounding strap to clip on the plane during fueling in the dry winter months .  When I combine grain I hang a old piece of corn picker chain down off the back axle and it keeps the outside cab windshield dust free . Couldnt get me to ride in a gas inboard boat  ::)   Never knew this about plastic gas cans though as every once in awhile when the farm barrels run out I go to the pumps in town .    I have seen many truckers standing at the pumps with a cigarette and thats pretty scary but woodbowls experience will make me more wise. 
UNCLEBUCK    bridge burner/bridge mender

Offline bitternut

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2006, 07:56:28 AM »
Anyone who fills gas cans anyplace but sitting on the ground is playing Russian Roulette. The static builds up mainly from the friction of the fuel going through the hose. If you have ever noticed the filler neck on all boats has a metal ring around it. This ring is a ground and the person refueling is supposed to touch the fuel nozzle to the ring while fueling. This keeps the static charge drained off. I know a guy that blew his son and himself into the water while refueling his boat because of not grounding the nozzle.

One of my pet peeves is people that can't go without a cigarette while sitting next to gas pumps. I was pulled up on one side of the pump island one day and all of a sudden I was breathing cigarette smoke. I looked at the car on the other side of the island and sure enough there sat a women 4' away with her window down halfway blowing smoke out of it. The kicker is that every now and then she also was flicking her ashes out the window right next to me where I was pumping gas. I looked down at my feet and the concrete was covered with stain spots from spilled fuel and thats where her ashes were dropping. It made me so made I told her to close her window and put the cigarette out or I was going to stick the hose in her window. She closed that window real fast and hollered to her husband for help. He got right in my face till I showed him what his wife was doing with her ashes and then he shut up, got back in his car and drove away. It looked like they were having a real serious discussion as they pulled away. I should not have said what I said but it made me so mad I could not help myself. It was my good fortune that he was smart enough to realize what a dumb thing his wife did and that I was mad enough to be dangerous. I can't remember ever being that mad before or since.

Anyways always put those containers on the ground when filling and you will be less likely to be  making the 6 o'clock news.

Offline Cedarman

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Re: Hidden Danger
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2006, 09:02:38 AM »
30 years ago when I worked for  a service company in the oil patch, we had regular safety meetings.  One situation which I have never forgotten was one about a fuel tanker explosion.  The tanker was grounded and the tanker was filled.  As the operator closed the big top lid the truck exploded.
This is the theory why it happened.

While filling the truck, a big black thunderstorm cloud moved through the area.  When a storm moves through it is charged with electricity and an opposite charge follows on the ground.  If lightning strikes, the charges are equalized.  The hinges of the lid were very rusty and did not have continuity to the truck body.  The charge on the ground and the truck increased as the cloud moved over, but the charge on the lid didn't since it was isolated.  Close the lid, make connection, spark, boom.

Great topic and one we don't think of often enough.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.


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