Face the Fire Facts: How to Prevent Car Fires
Did you know that each day nearly 300 cars go up in flames, with around 100 people dying as a result of this? Whilst many of these fires are a result of criminal activity, the Fire Service reports that many of these fires break out simply due to lack of maintenance and can be prevented.
Many motorists are motivated to keep their car clean and tidy when it is shiny and brand new, but after a few months have all manner of things cluttering up their vehicles. Though it may be an eyesore and uncomfortable for passengers, it rarely occurs to people that a build up of rubbish in their car can pose as a real threat.
It may seem obvious, but clean the interior of your car. Get rid of any loose papers and rubbish that may be lying around because, if a small fire did break out, these would be the things that will catch alight quickly and cause it to spread.
When cleaning your car, check for any signs of loose wires, keeping a close eye out for any signs of wear and damage. Frayed wiring and bad connections are infamous fire starters, so if you see anything along these lines bring your car into us so that we can safely repair it for you.
Unfortunately, the materials used to make the interior of your car are highly flammable. Plastics, polymers and the other synthetic materials that furnish your car all catch fire quickly, and when they do the smoke and fumes can be deadly. Minimise any chance of this happening by using matches and cigarettes minimally and responsibly.
Be prepared for the worst and keep either a multi purpose dry powder or a foam spray extinguisher in your car, so that you can easily put out a small fire if you ever need to.
If a fire does break out, immediately switch off the engine and try to release the bonnet without opening it and evacuate the vehicle. Make sure that you stand far away from the vehicle and warn other people and oncoming traffic if it is safe to do so. You should call 999 and ask for fire and rescue services, and only attempt to put out the fire if you believe that it is safe to do so, aiming the extinguisher through the radiator grille or under the bonnet. Most importantly, you should never use water on an engine fire the effects could be disastrous.