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Old Mar 25th 2018, 06:50 AM   #1
Pmb
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No smoking sign at gas station

Here's a cool question I thunk up.

At Lisa's Fuel and Eats gas station the there is a no smoking sign. A man is driving in his car minding his own having a smoke realizes he need to get gas. He stops at Lisa's, gets out of the car with smoke in hand and starts filling up his car with gas with the lit smoke in his pumping hand. Lisa sees this and activates the halogen fire suppression system. The man panics, stumbles, falls down and is asphyxiated by the halogen before he can recover, then dies.

Who is at fault?

Last edited by Pmb; Mar 25th 2018 at 06:52 AM.
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Old Mar 25th 2018, 07:01 AM   #2
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It's clearly the fault of the tobacco companies not warning of this possibility.

-Dan
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Old Mar 25th 2018, 07:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by topsquark View Post
It's clearly the fault of the tobacco companies not warning of this possibility.

-Dan
Wrong. It's Karl Benz's fault.
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 09:35 AM   #4
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Putting aside the humorous (but perceptive) answers, Lisa acted properly. The man did two things wrong- he pumped gas while smoking and he panicked. He probably can not be faulted for panicking but certainly it was his fault that he was pumping gas while smoking and that is the "proximate cause" of his death.

(If you think a question about a man dying is "cool" you are a warped person!)
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 10:47 AM   #5
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You don't have to be warped to post here,
That is just pure coincidence.
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 12:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by HallsofIvy View Post
Putting aside the humorous (but perceptive) answers, Lisa acted properly. The man did two things wrong- he pumped gas while smoking and he panicked. He probably can not be faulted for panicking but certainly it was his fault that he was pumping gas while smoking and that is the "proximate cause" of his death.

(If you think a question about a man dying is "cool" you are a warped person!)
I supposed I should have said "startled." But in any case you're quite wrong. In the first place nobody chooses to be startled or to panic.

I actually created this thread to see what common knowledge is about smoking at a gas station. The fact of the matter is that there's zero risk of gas fumes igniting from a cigarette. In fact you can put out a cigarette by dropping it into a poll of gas.
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 05:23 PM   #7
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Perhaps you were inspired video? https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...A453&FORM=VIRE

I disagree with what you're saying abut the flammability of gasoline. It's true that liquid gas is difficult to light, but gasoline fumes are highly flammable, and a spill of gas on the ground leads to gas fumes being present, and a lit cigarette can lead to disaster. See: https://www.wthr.com/article/cigaret...as-gas-station
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 06:17 PM   #8
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I'm not entirely sure of the flammability limits of petrol (diesel is less flammable).

The amount of energy (per unit volume) needs to get above a certain critical limit to start a chain reaction
where the amount of energy released by the local heat source is enough to ignite the neighbouring fumes, which is in turn enough to ignite...

I think you would need quite a precise balance of fuel vapour to air, and quite a hot cigarette butt.
However, I don't plan to go to the petrol station and start experimenting.
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Old Apr 11th 2018, 02:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Woody View Post
However, I don't plan to go to the petrol station and start experimenting.
I think someone should do it...

...for science!
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Old Apr 11th 2018, 03:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by benit13 View Post
I think someone should do it...

...for science!
When I worked in Saudi smoking was very common.
The filling stations were attendant operated and mostly open air.
We always wondered as the attendant, complete with *** in mouth, came out and filled up our vehicle.
I once saw the attendant with his mind somewhere else allow the fuel to overflow the vehicle and run over his sandals, whilst puffing away.
But in all my time there I never once heard of an explosion or fire.

We always used to get out of the vehicle and stand well clear.
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