Fire hazards in automobiles, although not too common, are still extremely dangerous. If ever faced with such a dire situation, it always helps to know the basic rules of not letting your vehicle end up turning into a flame fanning fireball. The most important rule you can know of with regards to fire safety in vehicles is prevention. A wise woman, Debbie Adair, once said, “Prevention is a whole lot less costly than treatment” and when it comes to vehicle safety, you couldn’t agree more.
How to prevent a fire
Most fire hazards in automobiles can be prevented through simple vehicle maintenance and there are a few things that you need to keep a look out for when inspecting the car from time to time. The most important among them are the electrical and fuel supply complications – fuses that keep blowing repeatedly, leakages of oil or other automotive fluids, exposed electrical wiring, dented or broken hoses and unfamiliar booming sounds coming from the exhaust system. Regular maintenance, especially at least once a year, can take care of such issues and keep your vehicle at optimum fire safety levels.
How to deal with an actual fire
However, no matter what precautions we take, accidents are inevitable and in the event of the occurrence of one, it helps to know some basic conventions that could help you get out safely and essentially save lives as well. The first and the most fundamental thing to do when you notice signs of a fire hazard in your car, is to park your car on the side of the road and turn off the ignition. This shuts down the electrical system and fuel supply in your car, thereby containing the situation and preventing the fire from getting out of hand. There is a usual tendency with many car owners to reach home first and then take a look at the problem that needs to be avoided in the first instance.
The important dictum in such situations is to remain as calm as possible and to think quickly and clearly. Once the car is safely parked by the roadside, get out of the car along with the other passengers and move as far away as you can, essentially at a distance of at least forty to fifty metres away. It is advisable to keep a fire extinguisher in the car at all times. If there is only smoke and not flames jutting out from the hood of your car, you could crack open the hood slightly (opening the hood entirely could increase the oxygen supply and intensify the fire) and spray the fire extinguisher to douse the fire. However, it is recommended that you stay away from the vehicle and call the fire brigade as they are professionally trained to manage such situations. It also helps to alert the incoming traffic of the fire accident that has taken place.
How to cover losses due to fire
One cannot always predict or prevent accidents but even the smallest of safety procedures followed right can make a big difference and help save your life as well as those of your fellow passengers. Also, with regards to the damage caused to your car, it is prudent to get fire safety insurance to cover for your losses. Not all insurances provide monetary relief against fire hazards so it would be judicious to look for a comprehensive one that takes into account accidents caused by fire as well. Remember all of this and you won’t be left sweating in the flames in the unfortunate event of you being involved in an automobile fire accident.