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Why Are Women Responsible for
78% of All Re-Entry Refueling Fires

By Stevie Hazen, Science Editor
April 15, 2010


Refueling fires have and continue to be a danger. There have been three deaths in the last few months. One issue that is of particular interest is why these fires happen more to women than men. This is established even though the last three deaths were men.

Latest Auto Refueling Fire Claims the Life of a 19 year Pennsylvania Man!

The Petroleum Equipment Institute has stated that almost 80% of all refueling fires where a person gets back in the car after beginning the fueling process are women.* PEI Stop Static Site

The PEI analyzed the fire reports which came in to their web site and found a large percentage of the re-entry fires were women. Some theories have been proposed as to why. It is not believed that the clothing has anything to do with the higher percentage since women and men today wear very similar clothing. The main theory which has very good credibility is that women get back in the car more often than men. It is believed that this is due to men having their money and credit cards in the wallets and women keeping theirs in their purse which may be left in the car or truck. Also women are considered more likely to get back in the car for warmth and for attention to small children.


This article describes research into the percentages of women getting back in their car versus men during the refueling process. Since the research was performed in April in South Carolina, the warmth factor will not be an issue in the data. This experiment will be repeated in the winter months to determine the warmth factor contribution.


If the refueling process is monitored and the numbers of males and females who stay at the gasoline nozzle during refueling versus those that get back in the car or truck are recorded, then the issue of females being more likely to get back in the car will be verified or discounted.


The research involved visually watching the customers at several gasoline stations over a period of 3 days. The numbers of males and females refueling their vehicles were recorded. The number who stayed at the nozzle as well as the number who got back in the car were also recorded.

The data were placed in an Excel spreadsheet and analyzed.

The following are the results.


Females Refueling Vehicles
Males Refueling Vehicles
Stay at Nozzle
Re-enter Vehicle
Stay at Nozzle
Re-enter Vehicle
Percentage of Women Re-entering Vehicle
25 %
Percentage of males Re-entering Vehicle


Evem though the data were taken during the spring, the numbers are unmistakable. Women get back in the car much more than men. Therfore they should account for a high perportion of the refueling fires. 78% being women is not unreasonable.


Stevie Hazen, Science Editor


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