It has come to the attention of Shell Malaysia that there is an email, allegedly from Shell, warning against use of mobile phones and the dangers of static electricity at retail stations.
We wish to clarify that the said e-mail to is not a bona fide communication from Shell. This email has been circulating on the Internet for some time now. We cannot vouch for the events it describes, or the source of the email.
We are aware that there have been reports of fires or small explosions, including some at service stations, when a mobile phone was present. We understand that, in most instances, there is still not conclusive evidence of the ignition source.
We do not wish to speculate on possible linkage of any specific incident to mobile phone use. Although there have been a number of studies, there is no conclusive and generally accepted proof that all mobile phones are safe to use in potentially explosive environments.
We consider that the risk from the use of mobile phones on a retail site, particularly in sections away from the refueling area and tank vents, to be low, but cannot be totally ruled out. In such circumstances we have adopted a precautionary approach.
The use of mobile phones while refueling a vehicle is also discouraged because it may divert concentration and lead to possible spills and accidents. A number of mobile phone manufacturers recommend that their phones are not used in areas with potentially explosive atmospheres because there are static electricity issues not associated with cell phones.