Main image via RojakDaily
A video has been circulating online showing a person frantically trying to extinguish their car that suddenly caught on fire at a petrol station.
Staying calm when your vehicle catches fire is much easier said than done. However, it’s vital to not panic when you’re in this kind of situation as panicking will make it harder to respond quickly and with care.
That being said, here are a few tips on how to safely extinguish a car on fire.
One of the first things you should do in this situation is to call the fire brigade. However, do keep in mind that it might take them several minutes to reach your location.
Based on the video, the person reached for the water can as soon as he realized the car was on fire. Most people would respond the same way; panic and grab for the nearest thing we think can extinguish the fire.
However, do keep in mind that small amounts of water in some cases worsens a fire, especially if petrol is involved.
In this case, it’s best to use a fire extinguisher that’s usually provided at the petrol pump. If you are inexperienced in handling the fire extinguisher, ask someone nearby for help.
When handling a fire extinguisher, make sure you spray at the fire source rather than the actual flames.
Sometimes a fire can reignite even after being sprayed by the extinguishing agents, so be sure to take your time smothering the source to be on the safe side.
Secondly, make sure to keep a safe distance from the burning vehicle. When a vehicle catches fire, toxic fumes are likely to arise during the burning, along with the fire and heat. Move at least 30 meters away from the vehicle and prevent anyone nearby from getting too close as well.
Also, don’t return to the burning car whether it be to turn off the ignition or retrieve some items as it’s too dangerous to risk approaching the vehicle. Prioritize your safety first, as belongings are replaceable, while human lives are not.
Image via TheStar
If your car gets caught on fire in the middle of traffic, be sure to alert nearby vehicles and passersby of the incident. Others might not be aware of the fire and could get hurt. If you can, set up an emergency triangle or any reflective object a few meters behind your vehicle to warn oncoming traffic.
In any case, once a fire gets out of control, it’s best to wait for professional help to put it out. Once extinguished, confirm with firefighters if it is safe to retrieve personal items from the vehicle.
Incidents like this happen more often than you think, so it’s always a good idea to be educated and mentally prepare yourself.
Stay safe, everyone!
By: Amy Shariffudin