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Device Prevents Gas Pump Fires

Inventors seek manufacturing and distribution assistance for patented device.

August 31, 2009


CHARLESTON, WV – “Necessity,” as they say, “is the mother of invention.”

After attending a seminar several years ago addressing oil company liability issues related to static fires (a consumer filling up his vehicle touches the metal fuel pump nozzle, whereby a spark of static electricity ignites and an explosion ensues), two Charleston, West Virginia, brothers and their retired oil industry friend have received a patent on a device that prevents such incidents from occurring, the Charleston Daily Mail reports.

Kent and Keith George and Duane Gilliam are now looking for ways to produce and market their invention that mounts beside a gas pump.

The unit is the size of a small overnight bag and includes a motion sensor that emits oppositely charged particles when a person pulls alongside it and exits his vehicle. The person is thus “showered” with static-clearing particles that prevent sparks when touching the fuel pump.

Static charges have become increasingly likely with lower-octane fuels and their lower “lubricities,” according to Gilliam.

Gilliam estimates that the cost to produce each unit would be roughly $4,000 to $7,000, and possibly higher if other extras were included, such as a digital camera that would allow station employees to monitor the pumps.

The inventors claim that the investment justifies the legal risk, no matter how uncommon static fires might be.


Comment from the ESD Journal:

"I guess the patent department has never heard of Static Ionizers:

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