Although car fires are really rare with only a chance of approximately 0.03%, car fires are one of the highest impact accidents and there have been a few car fire incidents in Singapore that hit the headlines. An example would be the most recent accident at Tanjong Pagar that killed 5 young men. Car fires are extremely dangerous and can be deadly, is it important for everyone to know what to do when your car catches fire in Singapore.
What are the causes of a car fire?
There are many reasons for a car to catch on fire, such as an accident that has taken a major hit on the petrol tank or engine, mechanical negligence, design flaws and electrical system failures.
Electrical faults are the most common reason for a car to catch fire. Poor maintenance such as broken parts, leaky seals, or faulty wiring can make your car a lot more hospitable to the conditions that cause a fire. An engine with a bad gasket is more likely to drip hazardous fluids. Frayed wiring is more likely to spark and make contact with flammable materials.
An overheated engine can also cause a fire, it might not overheat enough to burst into flames. However, it could lead to an increase in engine oil temperature which may cause the oil to spurt onto other hot parts which can easily ignite a fire.
What to do if your car catches fire?
If you can smell something burning or if you see smoke coming from the hood, get out immediately! Don’t forget to switch off the engine to stop the flow of fuel. Alert others to keep them away from the vehicle and call the emergency services.
If you have a fire extinguisher you may attempt to extinguish the fire. However, there are a few things to take note of. Firstly, do not fully open the hood if there are smoke but no flames because oxygen may cause flames to ignite. Secondly, fire the extinguisher from at least five feet away. Lastly, if the fire comes out from the rear of the car, DO NOT attempt to extinguish the fire, instead get as far away from the car as possible.