I was pumping gas recently when I saw a warning sign on the gas pump. I’ve seen the sign before, but today, it really got my wheels turning.

“Turn off cellular phone,” written in big, bold letters was displayed right above the gas handles. Why would a cell phone be such a concern around gas stations, and is there anyone that actually shuts their phone off when they pull up to the machine?

I’ll admit, I was texting while filling up my tank, and as I finished, my eyes caught the warning sign. I immediately felt guilty and shoved my phone in my back pocket, and that’s when I started questioning this odd concern. My curiosity led to a little research.

“Here’s the deal,” says CBS News, “cell phone batteries can explode, which would be a real danger if that happens while you’re pumping gas.”

I have heard of cell phones exploding, but it’s certainly not common, so why take the time to make this a universal rule?

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CBS News goes on to explain that the cause of concern is static electricity, not exploding balls of fire like I have always imagined. They say, “If you are pumping gas, and walk away from the pump, and say, get back into your car, you can build up static electricity, and when you touch the nozzle again, you can actually ignite the vapors.”

After discovering the real concern behind cell phones and mobile stations, I can wrap my brain around it, but I’ll be the first one to admit that I have never shut off my phone while filling up.

Do you?

Be cautious of technology the next time you’re at the pump.

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