Though this fact that cell phones could cause fires at petrol stations has not really been proved, it is better to be safe than sorry. One should never ignore warning signals posted around petrol pumps to abstain from using cell phones while some stations even advice switching off the mobile phones altogether.
Mobile phones could be an explosive risk at gas stations. Authorities are alerting people chatting on cell phones while at petrol stations to avoid such calls due to risk of fires. There was one such report of a driver suffering from burns and car severely damaged when petrol vapor exploded after being ignited by static electricity from the mobile phone he was using at that point of time. The driver was talking on his phone while his car was being filled and bent down to have a closer inspection of his petrol tank when it exploded.
In places like Belgium, there are warning posts prohibiting the use of mobile phones within 10 meters from gas stations.
This threat is further authenticated by mobile phone makers such as Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia who print cautions on their user handbooks warning users against use of mobile phones in gas stations, fuel storage sites and at chemical factories. It is also advised that mobile phones be switched off near areas where sensitive electronic equipment is in use such as near hospitals and airports for public safety reasons.