Careless customer causes fire in petrol station

A man sustained serious burn injuries when a fire erupted while he was filling petrol in his vehicle at a self-service petrol station on Thursday morning. The incident occurred in Al Nahda area of Dubai. The man was allegedly busy talking on his mobile phone while filling up the tank.

“He was the first customer to arrive at the station on Thursday early morning. He was filling petrol in his vehicle while talking on his mobile phone. There was a sudden fire from the nozzle, which spread to the petrol tank and the customer got burnt. His hand got burnt but a major accident was averted after the petrol station sales assistants rushed to the scene and put the fire out,” said a source at the fuel station.

Civil Defence officials were immediately called in at the fuel station, which is located close to the Al Nahda Railway Station after fire erupted reportedly from the nozzle of the fuel hose, which was being used by the Egyptian motorist.

The injured customer was immediately taken to the hospital, the source told Emirates 24|7.

The sight of motorists smoking or people keeping their cars' engines running while refuelling or some folks talking on mobile while filling their tanks is quite common. People openly flout the fire safety rules at fuel stations, thus putting not only their lives but everyone else's also in danger. Little do they realise that any electronic devices that emit electromagnetic radiation can lead to accidents at fuel stations.

Many fuel stations in Dubai turn into self-service stations from 12am to 6am and the authorities aim to expand the concept to more stations.

Although the move of introducing self-service has been effective from 12am at many petrol stations across Dubai, the careless use of fuel nozzles by customers is proving to be dangerous.

Meanwhile, petrol station staff have several complaints about self service customers, who are often impatient and they get irritated.

“We are very careful not to cause overflowing because it is against the rule. But self service customers who have no experience in handling fuel nozzles cannot make the right judgment and cause fuel overflow, which is fatal in summer,” said an attendant who often works at a fuel station at night.

“Nowadays many customers using the self service facility are causing overflow of their tanks. The chances of overflow is more during summer because the fuel getting into the fuel pump gets heated immediately and overflowing of petrol or diesel is a fire hazard,” said another source at a petrol station where clients have to fill their tanks themselves after midnight.

“When the fuel station is managed by the trained staff, they follow all the security and fire safety precautions. Most the customers at night are in a hurry,"  adds the attendant.

While the fuel station staff are given fire safety training, customers doing the same work during self-service do not have such expertise.

The sources also told Emirates 24|7 that that during the six-hour self-service period, some times customers have to wait for a bit as the service gets a little slow. "The fuel station attendant does not have enough time to explain all the safety precautions to the customers. Clients get restless because they have to come out of the vehicle, pay the money, take the nozzle and fill the tank. This process takes time."

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