Fire Safety Within and Around Vehicles
Would you know what to do if a vehicle you’re in starts giving off smoke? Or, a vehicle parked near you catches fire?
Vehicle fires endanger lives and property. Some damages cost a lot to fix while others are simply irreparable. BSE aims to equip everyone with crucial vehicle fire safety knowledge, so this week’s post will be useful for both vehicle drivers and the general public.
1. Key Information for Vehicle Drivers
Fire Protection: How do you protect yourself and others during a vehicle fire?
Only fight a fire if
the fire is small and contained
you are safe from toxic smoke
you have a means of escape
your instincts tell you it’s ok
Fire Prevention: How do you prevent a potential vehicle fire?
Service your car regularly and ensure that all faults are rectified as soon as possible because lack of maintenance can indirectly increase the risk of fire
Never leave canisters of gas, or other flammable products, in the cabin of the car
Ensure that the car is well-ventilated
Consider storing a dry chemical/ powder Fire Extinguisher in your car and make sure that you know how to use it before a fire starts
Broken parts, leaky seals, or faulty wiring, creates conditions that make your car more susceptible to fire
An engine with a bad gasket is more likely to drip hazardous (and flammable) fluids
Frayed wiring from electrical system failure is more likely to spark and make contact with flammable materials
Internal, dangerous spots such as the engine, the battery and the fuel tank should be regularly checked on as overheating of the exhaust system and engine system is a common cause of fire
Only replace a blown fuse with one of the same rating
Fire Precaution: What are the tell-tale signs of a potential vehicle fire?
Be aware of the warning signs:
Cracked or loose wiring
Rapid changes in fuel levels or higher than normal engine temperatures
Abnormal noise or vibration, or warning lights on the dashboard
2. Key Information for the General Public Regarding Car Park Areas & Parking Lots
When fighting a fire in a car park, remember the 3 As
Activate the Fire Alarm System or notify the emergency services. Or, have someone else do it for you. In most car parks, each lot is equipped with a heat detector that automatically sends a signal to the Fire Alarm System upon activation. Some car parks may have call points for the Fire Alarm System that you can manually locate and activate.
Assist any persons in immediate danger, or incapable of exiting the premises on their own, without risking your own safety. Locate the evacuation escape routes of the premise (the escape plan is usually at the lift lobby area).
Attempt to extinguish the fire, but ONLY after the first two steps are completed. Using prior knowledge or following clear guidelines like those that BSE makes available, locate and use the correct manual fire safety equipment present: the Portable Fire Extinguisher and Hose reel System. The automatic Fire Sprinkler System should kick in to help extinguish the flames too.