The lack of drive time for many as a result of the movement control order (MCO) means that most people won’t be visiting petrol stations to fill up their vehicles until the restrictions lift, but those needing to do so will no doubt have been wondering how safe it is in handling fuel nozzles, given the large number of people who use them.

We mentioned early on when the MCO began to take all necessary precautions to safeguard yourself when refueling your car. This included using disposable gloves while using the pump to refuel and when keying in PIN numbers for payment.

What we didn’t state was the type of glove for the job – the thing is, you shouldn’t be using those clear high-density polyethylene (HDPE) gloves that you normally see being used in food preparation and such services, because those plastic gloves are prone to static discharge, and that’s never a good thing when an open fuel source is nearby, like inches away nearby. Think sparks and a resulting fire, and you get the picture.

Right now, refueling is a safe process, given the proactive measures taken by fuel companies to ensure that all high-contact areas in their petrol stations are fully disinfected. Petronas says that the crew at the stations will always ensure high-traffic touch points such as fuel nozzles, keypads and door handles at the store and toilets are frequently disinfected daily.

Shell has said the same thing, stating that high-touch areas such as petrol pumps, fuel nozzles, pin pads, air balancers, door handles, pay windows, cashier area, tissue dispensers, switches, taps and sinks in all its stations are disinfected every hour, so you should be at ease when it comes to any engagement done at a petrol station.

If you’re still not content with that and think gloves will provide the necessary barrier to help solve the cleanliness issue, then you can go with single-use nitrile gloves (doesn’t matter if powdered or powder-free, choose your flavour), disposing them once you’re done. Nitrile is inherently anti-static and safe for use in this application, and is also used by petrol station crew. And no, you don’t need an electrostatic discharge (grounding) strap, seriously.

Alternatively, if kitting up your hands like you’re ready to conduct a medical examination isn’t your thing, then you can just use a kitchen towel to help you limit direct contact with the pump when refueling, dumping it once you’re finished. As for payment, try pay wave where possible. And always remember to sanitise when you’re done.

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