|Updated: 7/17/2012 5:49 pm
||Published: 7/17/2012 4:27 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - These days, at gas stations across the country, you'll find QR codes - barcodes that can be scanned with a smartphone that then redirect you to a website.
Just one problem: many times at those same gas stations - like at Julia Derksen's Exxon on Geyer Springs Road in Little Rock - right next to the QR codes, you'll find signs reading something along the lines of, "turn off cell phone and other electronic devices."
"It's telling you get on your cell phone if it's got one of them little barcode things on it so it's like an invitation for you to use it now," said Derksen. "So it does seem to be mixed signals."
We asked State Fire Marshal Lindsey Williams about the mixed signals. Can gas station fires really start because of a cell phone?
Williams said, "there is no hard evidence that suggests that use of a cell phone will start a fire."
Williams thinks the warning signs about cell phone use at gas stations started popping up because a fire just so happened to start at a gas station when someone was on their phone. However, after more research and after a bunch of the signs had already gone up ...
"That fire was not the result of the cell phone but more likely the result of static electricity that built up," he explained.
The bottom line is that using a cell phone at a gas station likely will not start a fire, but Williams adds that it's still a generally good idea to obey the gas station's wishes.