How to avoid causing dangerous fires at gas stations

Two snowmobiles caught fire over the weekend in Constantia

After two snowmobiles caught fire at a gas station in Constantia over the weekend by what is believed to be static electricity, many are wondering if a similar situation could happen to them.

The fire occurred at a Nice N' East around 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Matt Kunsman, second assistant chief at the Jamesville Fire Department, said the believed cause of static electricty is not something you see often, but things can go from bad to worse quickly.

"All it takes is a small vibration of fabric together to create a simple spark, and the right mixture of air and gasoline will actually start a fire up pretty easily," Kunsman said.

So what can you do to keep yourself safe next time you fill up your tank?

"Always turn off your vehicles when you're fueling, don't be on your cell phone or smoking," Kunsman said. "You know, little things you need to watch out for to make sure that you don't cause a problem."

He added that avoiding movement is also critical.

"Try not to go fidgeting around and causing possibly a static electricty charge," Kunsman said. "You know, if that's what they're putting the cause of this fire as, then you should probably watch out for doing that."

At the Jamesville Depot gas station, workers said they see people with some bad habits.

"People at the pump with the cigarettes," said Michelle Crowfoot. "And I've seen people with their children in the vehicle while they're smoking their cigarette and pumping their gas. People just don't think about it."

Fire officials said your text, call or next cigarette can wait.

"If the right mixture of air and fuel are together, you could actually cause quite a problem with it," he said.

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