Staying Safe At The Gas Station

Gas stations are a necessary stop for any driver on the road. Whether you're filling up before a long trip, grabbing some snacks, or needing to use the bathroom, gas stations are convenient and easily accessible.

gas station safety with pepper spray

However, they can also be a hotbed of criminal activity, making it important to stay aware and vigilant while there. When you're pulling up to the gas pump, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure your safety.

Morris, one of our Ambassadors, shares some great advice for staying safe when you're at a gas station in one of his Mojo Minutes:



Here are some other tips for staying safe at the gas station:

  1. Practice situational awareness
  2. Lock your doors
  3. Don’t leave your purse or valuables in the car
  4. Keep your windows rolled up
  5. Keep your back to the car while pumping
  6. Be cautious of strangers
  7. Fill up before dark
  8. Carry self-protection 


Practice Situational Awareness

The number one most important safety tip when filling up at a gas station is to just pay attention. Situational awareness is being aware of your surroundings, where you are supposed to be, what you are supposed to do, and whether anyone or anything around you is a potential threat to your health and safety. 

woman alert looking around while pumping gas

Lock Your Doors

The most common crime committed at gas stations is theft and those thieves are looking for easy targets. Unlocked doors make it simple to grab valuables and run away before you even know what’s happening. Even if you’re just running in for a quick trip, it takes only a matter of seconds for your valuables to disappear. 

Take Your Valuables with You

While many of us pay at the pump these days, there are times when you’ll need to go inside – to pay, grab snacks or use the restroom (let’s face it – on long family trips does anyone ever have to use the restroom at the same time? Nope!) Leaving your valuables in the car makes you a prime target for thieves. Valuables should be left out of sight or better yet, taken with you. Also, it goes without saying – never leave your keys or kids in the car!

Keep Your Windows Rolled Up

Even if you’re staying with your car at the pump, it’s important to keep your windows rolled up. It’s very easy to reach through an open window and snatch a purse or other valuable objects.

locking car doors while at a gas pump

Keep Your Back to Your Car While Pumping

While you’re standing at the pump, it’s always a good idea to keep your back against your vehicle. That way someone can’t sneak up on you from behind.

Be Cautious of Strangers 

Gas stations are notorious for attracting all types of people, from friendly locals to those looking for an opportunity to scam or harm unsuspecting customers. If someone makes you uncomfortable, trust your instincts and find a way to remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. 

Fill Up Before Dark

It’s not always going to be possible, but when you can, plan to fill up before dark. Most criminal activity happens at gas stations at night. If it can’t be avoided, make sure to stop at a well-lit and busy gas station. 

gas station at night with lights on

Carry Self Protection

At Premier Body Armor, we asked what our employees do to stay safe at gas stations. Self-protection was a common answer. Katherine, our Digital Growth Specialist, says she always holds her pepper spray at the pump. "I don't try to hide it. I want people to see I have it and will use it if I need to".


What to Do if You See Something Suspicious

If you see something out of the ordinary, trust your gut instinct. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Leave the area immediately
  • Do not confront the individual(s)
  • Call the police if needed
  • Try to remember as many details as possible, such as vehicle make/model, license plate, or personal details

Staying safe at the gas station is an important part of protecting yourself and your vehicle. By following these easy tips, you can ensure that your next trip to the gas station is a safe one. 

Check out our complete safety guide to learn more tips for other everyday locations!


Written by Emily Johnson

2 Responses


March 14, 2024

This article is very helpful. Thank you for helping everyone stay protected and what to do if help is needed

Linda Knowles
Linda Knowles

October 19, 2023

Great article. Listed things that I have never thought about previously. Thank you for this information.

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