The main cause of vehicle fire is faulty wiring. This can occur as a result of quack electricians, neglect or sloppy do-it-yourself electrical repairs. It only takes a few minutes for a fire to develop into an inferno…
If the fire is inside the car with smoke coming from behind the dashboard:
- Stop the car immediately and turn off the ignition.
- Get out of the car as quickly as possible because there is a danger that the car will quickly get filled with highly toxic smoke.
- Use your fire extinguisher immediately.
If the fire is under the bonnet:
- Choose a safe place to stop, away from places where the fire could spread if the car burns out.
- Switch off the engine and get out of the car and DO NOT OPEN THE BONNET. Opening the bonnet allows air to get to the fire and might
make it flare up.
- Use your fire extinguisher, loosen the bonnet just enough to aim underneath. If you can’t do this, stand back and call for
Sand or a car rug might be useful for smothering a fire. Don’t use water on petrol fires as you may wash the burning petrol elsewhere and cause more problems.
Electrical fires can be reduced or stopped by disconnecting the battery or the appropriate wires. However, you should not attempt to do this unless you know what you are doing and can easily access the battery or wire without the risk of burns.
Always get your passengers out of the car before doing anything else if you suspect fire. Make sure the passengers (especially children) are well out of harm’s way, as other drivers will be distracted and secondary accidents may occur.
Stay calm – stay safe!