In Malaysia, it is mandatory for buses, lorries, trailers, taxis and all vehicles ferrying goods to possesses “fire extinguishers”. But surprisingly enough, this important item which can save lives is not a requirement for cars though.
I have 2 good friends, both of whom are attached to the Balai Bomba or the Fire Brigade Department in Klang, Selangor. Their names are Aziz Torji and Tahir Torji, both are brothers.
I remember Aziz once telling me, “if you cannot put out a fire that breaks out within 3 minutes, don’t bother calling the fire brigade”, he said.
Talking about fires, fire safety is in fact very important to anyone, especially someone driving a car. But the sad thing is, not many people realize the importance of the fire extinguishers, especially in cars.
In a report conducted in America, fires in cars are one of the leading killers. In America, it is normal for people to drive everywhere. If a person inside a burning vehicle, it is utmost important they are safe from the fire.
Even though drivers and passengers can get out, the fire needs to be put out as soon as possible to prevent further risks to everyone in the area.
When we come to think of it, fire departments, due to traffic jams and congestion cannot respond fast enough to emergency calls from motorists. By the time they arrive at the scene, the car is already engulfed in flames!
So the only alternative is an easy access to a portable fire extinguisher will be able to put out a fire before it gets out of hand.
How does one use a fire extinguisher?
Fire extinguishers are easy to use. In a portable fire extinguisher, for example, just remove the cap, press the nozzle to discharge a thick and choking material at the base of the fire.
Most portable fire extinguishers for use in cars are meant to be used once only. It cannot be refilled, like the bigger units normally found in offices and homes.
Therefore, a car owner has to make plans to get a new portable fire extinguisher if the old one has been used.
Where does a driver store a portable fire extinguisher?
Definitely not in the booth! Because in times of emergencies, you’ll not have easy access to it.
Where then should you keep it?
Ideally, I would suggest you place it underneath the driver’s seat. Besides, the fire extinguisher can be hidden from views and this prevent it from being stolen easily.
Talking about fires breaking out in a vehicle and how best to overcome them, myself, being a father has seen it necessary to purchase portable fire extinguishers for my son, daughters and also my wife’s vehicles.
A portable fire extinguisher for car is not very expensive. You can get a unit from any supermarket for about RM90 – RM130. Make sure you get a unit which is approved by Bomba Malaysia and is Sirim tested and passed.
It should be remembered though, portable fire extinguishers are to be used once only and cannot be refilled. And as a last word its contents are harmless.