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Static electricity-the invisible killer of gas stations

Static electricity-the invisible killer of gas stations

Jan 21,2021

Static electricity-the invisible killer of gas stations

According to statistics, fire and explosion accidents caused by electrostatic discharge in the petroleum sales system accounted for about 44% of electrical accidents during the same period. Static electricity has the characteristics of being invisible, inaudible, and indistinct. It is relatively abstract and concealed. It is not easy to be detected before the accident and difficult to understand after the accident. Therefore, it poses a great threat to the safety of gas stations. Listed below are some representative fire and explosion accidents caused by electrostatic discharge, hoping to serve as a warning to everyone.

Case 1: The unqualified tank truck caused an explosion due to the accumulation of static electricity when the oil was led

At about 16:00 on November 8, 2004, a worker at an oil depot in Liaoyang City, Liaoning Province, was introducing gasoline from the tank into a tank truck. The tank exploded. Among the 7 people present, 2 were killed , 2 were seriously injured and 3 were slightly injured. According to the fire fighters, when they arrived at the scene, the fire was already very strong. The gasoline in the tanker flowed to the ground and the fire burned with the gasoline on the ground. There are several other oil tanks not far away. Once the fire spreads to the oil tank, it will cause a huge explosion. After several rounds of competition, the fire was finally under control. Around 17:30, the fire was completely extinguished. 

Brief analysis: According to the investigation, the tank truck used in the fuel guiding process was assembled by themselves. Without safety technical verification, the oil tank and the tank truck body were in poor contact; it caused static electricity to accumulate and discharge, and the fuel gas induced an explosion. The use of unqualified tank trucks to guide oil was the direct cause of this accident.

The accumulation of static charges during the fueling transfer process can lead to costly explosions, fire and personnel injury. The ‘Self-testing Grounding Clamp’ with visible & audible alarms is designed to dissipate static accumulation and verify proper grounding. It is intrinsically safe for use in hazardous locations.