Barbecueing at a gas station

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San Francisco Bay Area
I noticed maybe every other week there's a barbecue (actually a slow-cooking smoker) brought in to a local gas station. The thing looks to be wood-fired, and the smoker is maybe about 20-25 feet from the closest pump and kept outdoors. It's a fairly compact station, and the cooker is being run while the station is open and people are pumping gas. This can't possibly be safe can it? When I drive by I'm hoping the place doesn't catch on fire. I keep on thinking of the possibility of something like the gasoline play-fighting in the movie Zoolander, where someone decides to light up a smoke. If someone spills gas, what are the chances that the fumes reach the smoker and light up?
 
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grande prairie AB
There is soo much air around that pump that it would be so diluted by the time the fumes got anywhere close they would not ignite. I think 15 feet is the "danger zone".
 
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Location
Baltimore, MD
Since it's an open air facility, I believe the Class 1, Division 1 environment is up to 18" around the nozzle, this includes 18" above the ground due to gas vapors falling. Then it's Class 1, Division 2 further out from that, looks like this is up to 20' from the pump. And then it's considered normal location after that. As long as they are more than 20' from a pump and they are not filling the tanks, then it's safe. Class 1: Vapors, liquids and gases Division 1: normally explosive environment Division 2: not normally explosive but could be explosive This appears to be right out of the 2014 NEC Handbook https://www.inkling.com/read/nfpa-70-nat...-514-motor-fuel Edit: Looking at that link more, I'm wrong about the Division 1. It's never Div 1 and is always Div 2.
 
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1,570
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UT
OSHA requires no smoking or open flame within 50 feet where gas is being dispensed, or transferred from one container to another. It used to be pretty common to see signs on gas pumps that state this. For me, I'd talk to the station. Let them know your concern for your safety, and that of everyone else. If nothing changes, I'd find a different gas station. It's not worth the risk.
 
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2,771
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NYC
There's something to be said about the appeal about a random hole in the wall barbeque. I remember almost every Christmas, 2 or 3 days before Christmas eve, we'd Take the Van and venture out to mid Jersey to go cut ourselves down a Christmas tree. At the lot where you could pick a pre cut one and pay for it, there used to be this group of I'd like to Jamaicans who had hands down the best BBQ I'd ever had. Nothing beats sitting in the back of a mud filled Minivan hoisting a tree that was probably too big for the roof rack up, in like 20° with snow, with some damm fine BBQ. Last year we went back, turns out the guy retired. /flashback Back to OT, that's a bit close for comfort, and safety IMO. I'd politely mention this to them, and see where it goes. Then get yourself some of said BBQ, then perhaps call the local authorities with your concern.
 
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ME
Interesting. I wonder if my neighbor put in a gas station; the laws should make him put enough buffer space around the pumps so I could stand on my edge of the lot line smoking and waving sparklers and otherwise enjoying my own property. But this barbecue is of course under the control of the station owner, and even if I could do it 25 feet from the pumps across some imaginary boundary, he shouldn't. Think of some old lady walking down a sidewalk with an oxygen tank. They should engineer that so I can have my stogie next to her!
 
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669
Location
North Bend
Originally Posted By: y_p_w
I noticed maybe every other week there's a barbecue (actually a slow-cooking smoker) brought in to a local gas station. The thing looks to be wood-fired, and the smoker is maybe about 20-25 feet from the closest pump and kept outdoors. It's a fairly compact station, and the cooker is being run while the station is open and people are pumping gas. This can't possibly be safe can it? When I drive by I'm hoping the place doesn't catch on fire. I keep on thinking of the possibility of something like the gasoline play-fighting in the movie Zoolander, where someone decides to light up a smoke. If someone spills gas, what are the chances that the fumes reach the smoker and light up?
Gas stations rarely blow up, except in the movies (wherein everything blows up). At the local Sam's Club, there's a big sign prohibiting the use of cell phones. Too much spark hazard, I guess.
 
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
Or the guy walking over for a burger with a gas can for the lawnmower splashing it all over the place. It sounds like a hot time in the old town tonight.
 

y_p_w

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6,392
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San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted By: dave5358
Gas stations rarely blow up, except in the movies (wherein everything blows up). At the local Sam's Club, there's a big sign prohibiting the use of cell phones. Too much spark hazard, I guess.
I don't know about blow up, but catch on fire yes. Blowing up seems to be something you see in movies and TV for dramatic effect. They had about one every episode on CHiPs, and that was one of the things the the California Highway Patrol complained about because they provided technical assistance. I've seen a car on fire, and if the tank had blown up there would have been burning fuel and scorched asphalt for about 50 feet. I think one of the more common ways a gas pump catches on fire is that someone forgets to remove the nozzle and drives off. I know there are breakaway nozzles and valves that automatically shut off the flow, but doesn't this still happen where the thing catches on fire? I found some interesting articles. Stuff that makes you wonder what people are thinking. Space heater being used in a service station while mechanics take out a car's gas tank. http://www.georgetowner.com/articles/201...snarls-traffic/ As for the gas station I mentioned, I rarely pump there. I'm almost always pumping at Costco these days because it's a lot cheaper. I'm mostly concerned because I'm driving past this place and it's next to a main thoroughfare. The place is also a few blocks from the fire station, so I'm pretty sure they see this going on. Just seems to me that running a meat smoker in the parking lot of a gas station has the potential to start a fire.
 
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669
Location
North Bend
Originally Posted By: y_p_w
I think one of the more common ways a gas pump catches on fire is that someone forgets to remove the nozzle and drives off. I know there are breakaway nozzles and valves that automatically shut off the flow, but doesn't this still happen where the thing catches on fire? I found some interesting articles. Stuff that makes you wonder what people are thinking. Space heater being used in a service station while mechanics take out a car's gas tank.
Some years ago in the far east, we watched a guy under a vehicle welding on a gas tank while it was filled with gasoline. But, nothing happened. Driving off with the gas nozzle in the vehicle is not a good idea. Maybe that is why Sam's Club says to turn off your cell phone.
 
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2,324
Location
Baltimore, MD
Yes, they all say shut off your phone and don't use your phone because a cell phone (unless it's a special one) is not intrinsically safe so it arcs and sparks, generally when lights are turned on. So if you are in a Class 1, Div 2 location with an arcing and sparking device and the are becomes explosive, you become the bomb.
 

y_p_w

Thread starter
Messages
6,392
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted By: dave5358
Originally Posted By: y_p_w
I think one of the more common ways a gas pump catches on fire is that someone forgets to remove the nozzle and drives off. I know there are breakaway nozzles and valves that automatically shut off the flow, but doesn't this still happen where the thing catches on fire? I found some interesting articles. Stuff that makes you wonder what people are thinking. Space heater being used in a service station while mechanics take out a car's gas tank.
Some years ago in the far east, we watched a guy under a vehicle welding on a gas tank while it was filled with gasoline. But, nothing happened. Driving off with the gas nozzle in the vehicle is not a good idea. Maybe that is why Sam's Club says to turn off your cell phone.
The biggest fire risk is always from vapors. Liquid fuel doesn't actually ignite; it requires a fuel vapor and air mixture. I've been told that one could actually put out a small fire with liquid gasoline, although I have no itch to try it out myself. There has been a rash of injuries from kids trying some sort of fire challenge, where they douse themselves with alcohol and light it. Not really a great idea. I know that theoretically the fumes catch fire and one is protected for a few seconds by the liquid alcohol. Some kid just got severe burns, and another died. He apparently didn't do this in the bathroom where he could put it out with a shower. Even the kid with access to the shower got burned, since parts of it are likely to burn off first, and the remaining flames have contact with bare skin.
 
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1,570
Location
UT
Originally Posted By: dave5358
Gas stations rarely blow up, except in the movies (wherein everything blows up). At the local Sam's Club, there's a big sign prohibiting the use of cell phones. Too much spark hazard, I guess.
Blow up? No. For gas to explode, the fuel to oxygen ratio has to be ideal. And that just doesn't happen that often. Catch on fire? More often than most would believe. Just a couple years ago I witnessed a gas station fire. And this was a big fire. It destroyed a few cars and the entire shelter over the pumps. Flames were easily 35' in the air. The black smoke could be seen for miles. While I can't recall specifics, it wasn't caused by someone driving off with the fill hose still in the tank. But instead it was some sort of flame or ignition. So it does happen. And part of the reason it does not happen more often, is because of the safety regulations that are in place.
 
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495
Location
San Antonio, Texas
While my gas was pumping I'd be....walkin inside getting a couple cold diet dews... get some bbq and text the gf that good grub is on the way on the way back to car and gone....enjoying life....others mileage may vary...:)
 
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