Cell phones WILL NOT cause fires at fueling stations. Never have and never will. There is no Federal law requiring cell phones to be turned off while fueling. A few oil companies have posted notices at their pumps to turn cell phones off from ignorance, but there is no law.
Something that causes more sparks than anything is a gas or diesel vehicle. When you open your door a switch sparks as the interior light comes on. Turn on your headlights and your switch causes a spark. Start your engine and the starter motor makes a spark. To be perfectly safe we should stop on the street, disconnect the battery, and shove our vehicles to the pump. Once filled with fuel we should shove our vehicles back to the street, re-connect the battery, then start the engine.
A cell phone will have such a small current drain, and low voltage, that I don't think you will get any spark from them. If you are near an electric blasting cap the rf energy COULD detonate it.
Years ago, here in my town, a pickup truck with a large propane fuel tank in the box went through a brush type carwash at a gas station. The bruch yanked the propane line off of the tank. The gas quickly filled the bay, and the gas station water heater pilot light set the gas off. The building was totally destroyed, scattered over several city blocks, 1 person killed. This was before the OPD valve of course.
'Tis a privilege to live in the Ozarks!
If you can read this...thank a Teacher.
Since it is in English...thank a Veteran.
I have been towing RV's since 1987 and have never
turned the gas off except when I go thru a Hampton
Roads Tunnel.You have to stop before you go thru
the tunnel and they watch you turn the gas off. I
will stop on the other side and turn back on. RV's
cannot go thru any tunnel in Baltimore with gas
on or off. You must go around.
2003 Bounder 32W
Davis Tru Trac
Henderson's Rear Trac-Bar
02 Xterra 4X4 Auto
They say it can't be towed,
but I Toad it anyway,
Aventa II & Brake Buddy
And now, Centramatic
Some facts on Propane that need to be addressed. I am new to Rving so I am not going to comment on traveling with the tanks on vs off. As a firefighter I do have some knowledge on propane and would like to pass along some info to the group.
Propane is carried in the tanks as a liquid. This is why the tanks must only be used in the upright position (The position they are designed to operate).
The OPD valves are an Overfill Protection Device. They have been recently required on certain types of tanks and are used to keep the tanks from being overfilled. Since the Propane is stored as a liquid, some space must be "left" for expansion. That is why you can only fill tanks to 80%. This is the expansion room. The OPD's cause the fill to stop at 80%. (At least that is what they are supposed to do)
I cannot find the exact amount of expansion that takes place as the liquid turns to gas, but I believe it to be over 200x the volume. I.E. the 1 cubic foot of liquid will make 200 cubic feet of gas.
Some Facts on Propane (from the NIOSH Web page: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng0319.html)
The gas is heavier than air and may travel along the ground; distant ignition possible, and may accumulate in low ceiling spaces causing deficiency of oxygen. As a result of flow, agitation, etc., electrostatic charges can be generated.
ROUTES OF EXPOSURE:
The substance can be absorbed into the body by inhalation.
On loss of containment this liquid evaporates very quickly causing supersaturation of the air with serious risk of suffocation when in confined areas.
EFFECTS OF SHORT-TERM EXPOSURE:
Rapid evaporation of the liquid may cause frostbite.
Propane can explode, it can burn, it can cause havoc. I have seen the devastation from large and small tanks alike. This is just like anything else we use in our daily lives. If we treat it with the respect that it demands we will not be hurt, but let it take control and the outcome is devesting, not only to you but all those around you.
Everytime this topic comes up I LOL and remember all the times I have sat at a refueling point, with the engine(s) running (exhaust temps about 900c) and the rotor turning (static electricity generator) and tanked up with jet fuel (JP4,5 and 8). Then I wonder if I need to be concerned about my frig flame that is located 25 ft from my diesel filler neck. NOT!!!!!!!
Anything electric can spark, it's a fact. Piezo sparks are what ignite the water heater and fridge in DSI types and that is an electronic spark! The notion that a cellphone can't ignite a fire is ridiculous, however the chances are quite remote that they will. A cellphone being used while gassing up is much closer to the fumes than the light in your vehicle or the fridge or water heater and therefore is actually more of a risk not less, think about it! Again, the risks are remote but why take a chance with your life and that of others. It's much safer to just turn off everything and pay attention to what you're doing.
By the way, one thing many do that is also very dangerous is to continue filling their gas tank after the pump shuts off automatically. Auto mfgs designed basically the same type system as the OPD valve in the auto gas tank to make sure that they aren't overfilled. All owner manuals tell you not to continue pumping after the automatic shut off of the pump, maximum of 2 auto shut-offs are printed in some. The reason is the gas coming out of the ground is normally colder than the air temp and as it warms it expands rather quickly. This expansion can cause the gas to spray out of the cap or flow out though the overflow tube and that becomes a danger that is actually more dangerous than the propane leaking. Many people still continue to "top-off" the tank and never read this important warning or pay attention to it if they did read it thinking they want a full tank. Often by "topping-off" the tank you end up losing gas especially during summer months or year round in warm climate areas. In cold weather areas the gas is actually warmer than the air temp so in winter it isn't a problem, but in the summer it is and that's when most people use their RVs.
There is one other characteristic of propane most people don't know. Propane is only combustible when the percentage of propane to air is between 2.4% and 9.5%. Below 2.4% or over 9.5% and propane will not ignite.