A Follow Up Article On Fires In Our Vehicles & How Best To Contain It

The earlier article, ” What To Do If Your Car Bursts Into Flames?“, touched upon the urgent necessity to have fire extinguishers in our vehicles. In this follow up article, an attempt will be made to highlight some of the possible areas in a vehicle most likely to sprout a fire.

A vehicle is a very likely place for fire to begin. This is because it is made up of many combustible items such as fuel, wirings, rubber cushions and carpets.

It takes but only a few minutes for a car to burst into flames. Therefore, a fire extinguisher is one important item. Every motorist should have it in his vehicle.

For your information, a portable fire extinguisher costs only approximately RM100. But think what it can do in case of an emergency situation.

Where are the likely places for a fire to begin in a vehicle? That’s what one might tend to ask. The most likely places for a fire to begin if you should enquire of me are:

1) The engine compartment.

Herein lies the battery connections. The battery is considered the heart of a vehicle. It supplies current to all parts of a car or vehicle. Any short circuit will obviously spark a fire.

A word of advice though. Any wiring connections should ideally be conducted by a wireman, a specialist on all things connected with wirings.

In this compartment also is the carburetor unit. Fuel, which is highly combustible flows in and out of it. Any leakages would result in fuel landing onto a hot engine. This would cause a fire to ignite and the engine bursting into flames.

As a driver of many years experience, it is my personal opinion that is such an eventuality happen, only a fire extinguisher can possibly help to put out the fire. To avoid such an incident happening, drivers are advised to be on the alert all the time.

Fuel can easily be detected. In fact, a good driver can actually smell fuel leakages. Should you detect fuel leakages, you should immediately stop your vehicle to investigate its source. You are advised to instantly drive your vehicle to the nearest mechanic to rectify the problem or flaw. Failing which, danger lurks.

At times, the battery can also be the cause of a fire breaking out. Wrong connections of the terminals can cause fires and short circuit wires. This causes fires.

As such, drivers who do not know much about a car’s wiring system are reminded not to meddle with anything that is connected with circuitry matters. Leave it to the experts to be on the safe side.

2) The driver’s compartment.

The driver’s compartment consists of a few items which could also ignite a fire. Usually, radio connections and switches of disc players are some of the places where fire can spark up a flame. Radios or L.C.D screen should ideal be repaired by someone who is well versed with electronic gadgets only.

Another probable source of fire is the air-con switch. This item which conveys high voltage current is most likely to be burnt out easily. Therefore, such points should be consistently checked all the time. If need be, these points and switches should be replaced often. This is to prevent fires from breaking out.

3) The booth area.

There are cases where fires have been reported to have begun from the booth itself. Drivers are very fond of storing inflammable contents such as petrol at the back of the car.

Petrol is very easily combustible. So try to avoid keeping spare petrol in the booth itself. If a fire should begin from the booth, quickly douse it out with a fire extinguisher.

Fire can also begin from the booth area due to another reason. This is because the vehicle’s fuel tank is situated directly below it. When a car sustained a major knock especially when hit by another vehicle, the fuel tank is most likely to sustain damage or leakage.

Try to sniff out leakage of fuel from the fuel tank. Get a fire extinguisher ready to combat a fire should any eventuality occur.

These are but some of the places where fire are most likely to occur. Remember, to fight fire with a fire extinguisher and not water, is the only way to save your car.

As said earlier, drivers should be constantly ready to fight flames which can engulf a vehicle anytime. Remember using water will destroy cables of a vehicle. This will incur lots of money to repair the damage.

Where must fire extinguishers be kept in a car?

Preferable below the driver’s seat. For easy access when fire occurs and never in the booth.

Permit me to quote a few important factors regarding fires before this short article ends. Once upon a time, I was in charge of fires in an establishment I once worked for. Fire officials from Bomba used to advise, 3 minutes is what it takes to destroy a vehicle!

If you can’t control a fire within the first 3 minutes, you might as well forget calling the fire brigade. Your vehicle will surely be a total loss!

A final word of advice though. When trying to put out a fire, aim the nozzle of the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire itself. That they say is the way to put out a fire.