Fleet Safety Newsletter – October 2016

Fleet Safety Header APNLVehicle Fires

The National Fire Protection Association statistics show that highway vehicle fires are on the rise. A lot of the facts about car fires seem like common sense. For example, most car fires start in the engine compartment, which shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone who’s ever popped the hood to have a look at what goes on in there.

If your vehicle catches fire – Get Out and Get as far away as possible. That small fire is not going to stay small for long.

Knowing the risk and cause of fires will help reduce the risk of your vehicle being involved in a fire. The leading causes of vehicle fires are:

 

10 – Design Flaws – Not likely to be the cause of a fire, but creates the condition for the inevitable fire.

  9 – Poor Maintenance – Sloppy maintenance – broken parts, leaky seals, faulty wiring increases the fire odds.

  8 – Car Crashes – Depending upon the impact site – gas tank leak, engine compartment leaking battery or brake fluid.

  7 – Arson

6 – Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Batteries – faulty battery or battery damaged if puncture by debris.

  5 – Overheating Catalytic Converters – one of the consistently hottest part of the car. Improper fuel burn, damaged heat shield, parking in contact with combustible material (park in a field of high grass.

  4 – Overheating Engines – Cooling system not working properly.

  3 – Spilled Fluids – gasoline, diesel fuel, engine oil, transmission, power steering and brake fluids.

  2 – Electrical System Failures – replaced fuse with wrong size, loose connection or damaged wire.

1 – Fuel System Leaks – Fuel lines and connectors deteriorate with age.  Proper maintenance to replace worn parts.  Using the wrong type of fuel (E85 gasoline in a vehicle not designed for its usage).

If you are a smoker, you may be the cause of a vehicle fire. Careless use of lighters and matches and improper disposal of cigarettes may start a fire. A driver that falls asleep in the sleeper cab while smoking could result in deadly consequences if the bedding or the mattress is ignited.

Safety Tips:

  • Maintain your vehicle. A pre and post trip inspection should be done every day. If any of the items above are identified report them immediately so they may be repaired.
  • If you experience a vehicle fire, pull the vehicle over to the side of the road, stop and park and get out and safely away from your vehicle.
  • Call the fire department. Do not attempt to open the hood or fight an engine fire on your own.

If you have a fire extinguisher and it is not an engine related fire, remember the simple acronym P A S S……

  • Pull the Pin at the top of the extinguisher.
  • Aim at the base of the fire, not the flames. This is important as you must extinguish the fuel to the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep from side to side. Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out.Fire extinguishers are short lived and will run out of the extinguishing agent fairly quickly. Be sure you are able to get to a safe area quickly, if the extinguisher does not put out the fire. Even if you do succeed in putting out the fire, vehicle fires are prone to reignite – especially if it is fuel related.

Fire extinguishers are short lived and will run out of the extinguishing agent fairly quickly. Be sure you are able to get to a safe area quickly, if the extinguisher does not put out the fire. Even if you do succeed in putting out the fire, vehicle fires are prone to reignite – especially if it is fuel related.

AssuredPartners NL has exercised due and customary care in producing this newsletter but has not independently verified information provided by others. No other warranty, express or implied, is made with regard to the content of this newsletter. Therefore, AssuredPartners NL assumes no liability from any loss resulting from errors, omissions or misrepresentations made by others.  The use of this information by third parties shall be at their own risk and AssuredPartners NL accepts no duty of care to any such third party.

For more information on loss control services contact: Jeff Rausch, email: jrausch@rmsc.com, P: 502-708-3124   www.assuredptrnl.com

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