I stopped at a local gas station after I left the station on Tuesday and watched as a guy got out of his car, started pumping his gas, but because it was cold, he got back into his car while the gas was pumping.  Don't do this.

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How many times during the winter have you reached for a doorknob, and just as you touch the doorknob, you get a shock.  Or even just in the house, I've reach down to our gas fire heater in the living room and caused a spark and gotten a shock. Not smart...

When you are filling up your car, and you first touch the car to open the gas cap, you have grounded yourself to the vehicle.  You can touch it again and probably not get a shock, or cause a spark.  But when you get back into your vehicle, you are no longer grounded and you then create more static electricity.  So when you get back out of the vehicle, you are now 'recharged', so when you reach for the gas pump, you can create another spark, possibly causing a fire, like the one in this video.

 Why is Static Electricity Worse in the Winter?

One reason static is worse in the winter is because the air is dryer. Cold air simply can't hold as much moisture as warm air.  And without the water vapor, the electrons in the object, (your body), can't escape as easily, so they get bottled up waiting to release their energy.  And that release happens as soon as you touch metal.

So the next time you're pumping gas in the cold, do not get back into your vehicle. Just make sure you have on a coat, gloves, and just bear it.

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