A 34-year-old woman and her two daughters were charred to death on Sunday, after their car caught fire near the Akshardham flyover in east Delhi.
This incident has prompted the Delhi traffic police to start an awareness drive where they advise drivers about the benefits of installing fire extinguishers in cars.
With summer approaching the temperatures are all set to soar, and one of the things that we ought to be mindful of are incidents involving fire.
Here is what you should do in case of fire in the car:
1. Switch the engine off
One reason why a car fire may break out is that the first sparks of fire get converted into wild flames when the engine is left on. If you notice these sparks, pull over to the roadside and turn off the ignition, immediately.
Most times, there’s always smoke before a fire. Do not ignore this sign.
2. Leave the vehicle
Once you have parked the vehicle and have turned off the ignition, ensure that you and anyone else who might be inside the vehicle, gets out immediately. It is advisable to be at least 100 feet away.
Do not try and touch the hood; it is likely to be very hot.
Also, stay away from the vehicle because the chemicals being released from its various burning parts can be toxic for your lungs.
In case the central locking system gets jammed because of the fire, you could use the detachable headrest to break open the glass window. Exercise caution while doing this.
3. Keep a fire extinguisher handy
It is always prudent to err on the side of caution. Ensure that your vehicle is equipped with a fire extinguisher. In case a fire does break out, you can use it to douse the fire before calling the fire service for help.
Avoid dousing the fire with water since using it on electrical equipment in the car can cause electrocution.
However, even after you have successfully doused the fire, do not attempt to drive the vehicle. Stay at a safe distance from it.
4. Always go to an authorised dealer
Often, to save some money, we tend to rely on a local garage to carry out minor repairs or service the vehicle. However, this can lead to unnecessary trouble, so ensure that you only take the vehicle to an authorised service centre.
Also, do purchase CNG/LPG kits from authorised centres only. In case you decide to get additional fittings for the vehicle, check the brand and details before allowing for the fitting to take place.
5. Avoid unnecessary features and modifications
Do not get too many modifications done to the vehicle as they may interfere with its original framework.
It is also advisable to avoid installing fancy lights, sound systems, and other electronic systems in your car as they increase the load on batteries and could lead to short circuits.
6. Avoid leaving certain items in the car
The various car mobile chargers sold by vendors is a major cause of vehicular fire. These chargers do not meet safety standards, and are extremely hazardous when left plugged into the socket.
Also, do not leave any sprays behind, especially during the summer. The extreme heat can case aerosol canisters to explode.
With these pointers in mind, we advise you to always exercise caution while driving your vehicle and prioritise safety.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)