While you may not hear much about it, apparently there is a risk at the fuel pumps that you should keep in mind. About 100 static-sparked fires occur at US gas stations every year. According to this Yahoo Autos article, Don’t Get Burned at the Pump, this occurrence may be rare but one should take precautions.
During fueling, fumes can leak from both the fuel tank and the pump nozzle. If you get in and out of the car several times, the car’s static electricity can be transferred to your body. If enough static is built up, it can cause the vapors to ignite if you come too close to the fumes near the pump. “The fuel doesn’t ignite, but the vapor from the fuel,” Wormser says.
Here’s more information at a page by OPW Fueling Components called Do’s and Don’t’s at the Fuel Pump.
From what we can see, the biggest contributing factor to this phenomena, is getting in and out of your vehicle while re-fueling (and this is especially critical in cold weather). Watch the video below as this lady starts the fueling rig, gets in and out of her vehicle and then tugs on her wool sweater for good measure. Thankfully she doesn’t appear to be hurt during this incident.