BUS_150826_PETROLSTATION-AR Emarat Petrol Station at Al Safa area in Dubai. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Sharjah: One of the things that we should do, but often forget to do, is turn off our mobile phones when we are at a petrol station. Motorists have been warned to take utmost precaution when in the vicinity of petrol stations.

The warning comes as many social media users have been joining discussions about Adnoc’s new self service by posting videos and pictures of people refilling their vehicles themselves at petrol stations.

Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, director-general of Sharjah Civil Defence, told Gulf News that people should avoid using mobile phones in petrol stations as the device’s electromagnetic field could possibly spark a fire through the volatile fumes of gasoline.

A mobile phone’s batteries also pose a risk.

He urged all community members to not use mobile phones to shoot videos or take pictures at petrol stations or make calls as it poses a risk.

There are very clear instructions posted near petrol-dispensing machines advising motorists against using mobile phones and smoking anywhere nearby. However, many people continue to violate these rules.

Rules at petrol stations even state that the vehicle engines should be turned off when they are being filled.

“Speaking on the mobile phones is not allowed. But does anyone care? Almost everyone speaks on the mobile while filling petrol and most vehicles continue to remain switched on,” Col Naqbi said.

The fear is that the electromagnetic radiation from a mobile phone could transmit enough energy to ignite petrol vapour directly or that it could induce currents in nearby metallic objects and trigger a spark resulting in a calamity, he said.