Tips To Help Reduce the Risk of a Vehicle Fire
It is estimated that around 100,000 vehicles catch fire in the UK each year. While the risk of this happening to you may be slim, car fires can happen to anyone at any time. So, it is worth taking some time to consider the possible causes and risks and the steps that you can take reduce the chances of it happening to you.
Regular car maintenance is important for many reasons, but a well-maintained car is also less likely to catch fire. Leaks due to damaged seals, broken parts and faulty wiring are all potential causes of a vehicle fire. These problems are far less likely to occur in a car that is regularly checked and maintained.
Unfortunately, arson remains a common cause of car fires. This is largely outside your control, but it is worth making the effort to park your vehicle in a secure and well-lit area whenever possible to help to reduce the risk.
Electric car batteries have been acknowledged as being a fire risk and there have been reports of electric vehicles catching fire. As with any other battery, the battery in an electric car may ignite if it is punctured, so there is a risk that a small stone or other debris could puncture the battery when travelling at speed.
While less common these days, as cars become more sophisticated, overheating engines can result in fire. It is possible for oil or coolant to leak or spill if they land on hot parts, they can start a small fire that has the potential to spread rapidly. If your car is overheating, we’d recommend getting it checked out by a qualified mechanic.
Similarly, fuel leaks represent a real risk and are the most common cause of car related fires. Petrol and diesel are highly flammable and can easily ignite around sparks and hot metal. If you think your car is leaking fuel, get it checked and fixed as soon as possible.
If you find yourself in a car that is on fire the important thing is to stay calm. Pull over in a safe place as soon as you can, turn off the engine and apply the handbrake. Then leave the car as quickly as possible, closing the door behind you if possible as this can help contain the fire. Move to a safe distance from the car and call the emergency services.
Fire extinguishers can help buy time before the emergency services arrive. While it is not a legal requirement to carry a small fire extinguisher in your car, it may be worth considering, just in case. If you choose to do so, make sure you understand how to operate the extinguisher so that you are not struggling to read instructions when under pressure. Also, make sure that it is easily accessible as well as being secured safely.
Fire Safety is one of our specialities, if you are in need of advice, help or fire safety equipment please get in touch.