Most people who drive cars have found themselves at gas stations many times. While pumping gas, it is easy to wonder about how safe the place actually is. After all, people are pouring flammable liquid into their cars while sitting on top of a big tank of the stuff. Despite this, gas stations are very safe. Here are a few ways that they keep everyone safe.
Gasoline Is Safer Than You Think
You probably don’t realize how safe gasoline is in its liquid form. Certainly, it can be ignited if exposed to a flame. However, the movie depictions of gas tanks exploding are largely fictional. The most dangerous part of gas stations is when gas vapors and air are mixed in the storage tanks. These are built to be protected from flames, so they are generally quite safe.
It’s All in the Construction
Fueling stations are built with the gas stored underground. This helps to shield the large reservoirs from any hazards. It would also help to dampen the explosion in the event that something went wrong (there is a lot of ground to absorb the force).
Depending on the type of fuel, the tanks may be a little different. For example, CNG fueling station construction looks a little different from a gas station. However, the principle of keeping tanks away from customers by burying them tends to be consistent.
Cleaning is Essential
Keeping gas stations clean is an important part of avoiding accidents. Spilled gas is the most likely thing to be exposed to a flame or spark. Additionally, mixing water with gasoline can spread the flammable substance around rapidly because it just sits on the top of the water. Clean and dry stations tend to be the safest (so that roof is doing more than protecting you from the rain).
You may be surprised by how safe gas stations are. Accidents are rare and they are much less catastrophic than you would expect in the vast majority of cases.