Yesterday I was browsing through my daily dose of social media videos and one in particular struck my attention. It was a video of a car driving along a street and a bolt of lightning striking the car, causing the car to catch on fire within a few seconds. The chances of getting struck by lighting is roughly 1 in 600,000, and luckily the passengers in the car were somewhat protected by the metal roof.
Having your car catch on fire while you’re driving is certainly a frightening thought, and I’m sure the experience would live up to this expectation. In the United States, there are around 1740,000 vehicles that catch on fire every year, with the majority of the causes resulting from technical defects.1 While it’s not a legal requirement to have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle, it’s definitely a great idea to prevent your car from being completely destroyed in the event of a fire. Many professional organisations supply fire extinguishers in company vehicles, along with various other common tools to repair the vehicle in case it breaks down.
So should you have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle? It’s really up to you, but personally I think it’s an excellent idea! If you agree with me and are contemplating purchasing a fire extinguisher for your vehicle, this article will recommend which type of fire extinguisher you should carry and what you should do in an emergency.
Which Fire Extinguishers Are Suitable For Vehicles?
There are many types of fire extinguishers available that are suitable for various causes of fires. While your vehicle is designed with optimal safety in mind, there are still many fire hazards that you should be aware of, such as gas, oil, electrical wires, and upholstery. If you search online, there are several types of vehicle fire extinguishers that businesses will try to sell you, but in fact, there is one fire extinguisher that is ideal for all the fire hazards that a vehicle presents.
Dry Powder fire extinguishers are the leading choice for both vehicles and boats, and are suitable for Class A, B, and C fires. This type of fire extinguisher will be effective on fuel and electrical fires, along with common combustibles such as paper, wood, cloth, and upholstery, all which are commonly found in vehicles. King Fire Protection Services provide compact Dry Powder fire extinguishers specifically designed for vehicles. Visit https://www.kingfire.com.au/ for more information. Make sure you ask about how frequent you’ll need to inspect your fire extinguisher and also the expiration date. The last thing you’ll want if your vehicle catches on fire is a faulty fire extinguisher!
What To Do If Your Vehicle Catches On Fire?
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position where your vehicle has caught on fire, the most important thing you need to do is remain calm. In most cases, fires will ignite in the engine, but unlike Hollywood films, vehicle explosions caused by fires are very rare as it takes a long time for the fire in the engine to reach the interior. The following provides a precise guideline of what you should do if your vehicle has caught on fire:
- Turn on your warning lights and move your vehicle to the side of the road
- Turn off the engine and have all passengers evacuate the vehicle and stand at least 15 metres away from the car
- Retrieve your fire extinguisher before exiting the vehicle yourself
- Phone 000 and advise the Fire Department that your vehicle is on fire, giving them your exact location
- Release the bonnet catch only. Do not open the bonnet as the gush of oxygen may cause the fire to flare-up and seriously burn you.
- Release the contents of the fire extinguisher through the gap in the bonnet.
If a fire has ignited in the cabin of your vehicle, follow the above instructions except direct the fire extinguisher at the source of the fire in the cabin.
Once the fire has been extinguished, wait for the Fire Department to arrive to check that the vehicle is safe to be transported to a mechanic for repair. Don’t forget to refill your fire extinguisher so you’re protected if a fire breaks out in your vehicle again.
In conclusion, a vehicle fire extinguisher is a fantastic way to protect yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle in the event of a fire. It’s also important to practice good preventative measures to avoid vehicle fires, so ensure you service your vehicle regularly!