An increase in reported fires on forecourts in Europe has sparked the launch of a campaign to make motorists more aware of the hazards during refuelling.

With the majority of forecourt fires started by static electricity generated from people getting in and out of their cars, DirectCast Media has come up with an electrostatic reduction touch pad called Statouch. Motorists touch the pad before fuelling to remove all the static from their body.

Jamie Thompson, former senior petroleum officer, London Fire Brigade, said: “Investigations into forecourt fires have shown that those who return to their vehicle during refuelling are more likely to be at risk.” Customers generate static charge by sitting in their vehicles and leaving the seat and on reaching for the nozzle the static charge is then discharged at that point and vapour

around the filling point ignites.

The use of synthetic materials in cars and the increased use of plastics in vehicle construction is also thought to play a part in the increase in reported static fire incidents.

The Statouch pads should be positioned close to the pumps, and can be tailor-made with corporate logos and safety information.

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