1. #1
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    Jul 1999
    Flanders, NJ

    Default NFPA/AAA Team Up to Prevent Vehicle Fires

    Here is an interesting article and an even more interesting report:
    NFPA and AAA team up to prevent vehicle fires

    Hialeah, Fla., October 13, 2005 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and AAA have joined forces to raise awareness about the dangers of highway vehicle fires. According to recently completed research by NFPA, U.S. public fire departments responded to an estimated 266,500 highway-type vehicle fires during 2004. These fires claimed 520 lives, caused 1,300 injuries and nearly a billion dollars in property damage. Also, highway vehicle fires accounted for 17 percent of all reported fires and 13 percent of all civilian fire deaths. Highway vehicles include cars, trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles commonly driven on roads or highways. Highway vehicle fires are most often caused by mechanical or electrical failure.

    Download a free copy of NFPA's Vehicle Fire Trends and Patterns report (PDF, 377 KB).


    “In 2004, highway vehicle fires caused more deaths than apartment fires,” said NFPA President James M. Shannon. “The public needs to be more aware of this serious fire safety issue and take measures to lessen the risk of an incident.”

    AAA President Robert L. Darbelnet said, “The size and seriousness of the vehicle fire problem in the United States is prompting AAA to advise all motorists to be alert to vehicle maintenance issues that can cause fires, and to know what actions they should take if their vehicle is involved in a fire.”

    Darbelnet added, “Although drivers may believe fires occur mostly from collisions, this is not true. Many more are caused by failed vehicle components that could have been maintained or repaired prior to causing or accelerating a fire. For this reason, NFPA and AAA are urging all vehicle owners to arrange for a comprehensive maintenance inspection of their vehicles this fall, if they have not had one performed in the past 12 months.”

    Vehicle owners and the technicians who inspect their vehicles need to be especially alert to damaged wiring and loose electrical connections, worn or blistered fluid lines and leaking connections, severely worn brake components, and damaged heat shields, especially those protecting catalytic converters, exhaust manifolds and other high temperature heat sources.

    According to NFPA statistics, more than two-thirds of highway vehicle fires resulted from mechanical or electrical failures or malfunctions. Collisions or rollovers caused only 3 percent of these fires, but 57 percent of the associated deaths.

    To further reduce the risks associated with vehicle fires, consumers need to be knowledgeable about what to do and not to do if their vehicle catches fire. Fire Chief Otto Drozd of the Hialeah Fire Department advises, “If a vehicle fire occurs, stop, get out and call for help as quickly as possible. Attempting to fight the fire yourself can lead to serious injury or death and should be avoided.”

    Drozd recommends the following:

    STOP - If possible, pull to the side of the road and turn off the ignition. Pulling to the side makes it possible for everyone to get out of the vehicle safely. Turn off the ignition to shut off the electric current and stop the flow of gasoline. Put the vehicle in park or set the emergency brake; you don’t want the vehicle to move after your leave it. Do not open the hood because more oxygen can make the fire larger and exposes you to a sudden flare up.

    GET OUT- Make sure everyone gets out of the vehicle, but do not waste time and increase risk by removing personal belongings. Then move at least 100 feet away. Keep traffic in mind and keep everyone together. There is not only danger from the fire, but also from other vehicles moving in the area.

    CALL FOR HELP- Call 911 or the emergency number for your local fire department. Firefighters are specially trained to combat vehicle fires. Never return to the vehicle to attempt to fight the fire yourself. Vehicle fires can be tricky, even for firefighters. Pressurized components can burst or explode, spilling or spraying highly flammable liquids, or eject projectiles than can cause serious injuries.

    To reduce the risk of a vehicle fire, AAA makes these recommendations:

    Have your vehicles inspected at least annually by a trained, professional technician. As a public service, AAA inspects and approves thousands of repair facilities in the U.S. and Canada as part of the AAA Approved Auto Repair program. Names and locations of AAA-approved repair businesses can be found at www.aaa.com.
    Watch for fluid leaks under vehicles, cracked or blistered hoses, or wiring that is loose, has exposed metal or has cracked insulation. Have any of these conditions inspected and repaired as soon as possible.
    Be alert to changes in the way your vehicle sounds when running, or to a visible plume of exhaust coming from the tailpipe. A louder than usual exhaust tone, smoke coming from the tailpipe or a backfiring exhaust could mean problems or damage to the high-temperature exhaust and emission control system on the vehicle. Have vehicles inspected and repaired as soon as possible if exhaust or emission control problems are suspected.
    Avoid smoking. If you must smoke, use your vehicle ashtray.
    Drive according to posted speed limits and other traffic rules. Remain alert to changing road conditions at all times.
    This NFPA and AAA initiative coincides with the NFPA-sponsored National Fire Prevention Week – October 9-15 – and AAA Car Care Month

  2. #2
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    Diane E's Avatar
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    Dec 1998
    Maryland (but always a Long Islander first)


    “In 2004, highway vehicle fires caused more deaths than apartment fires,” said NFPA President James M. Shannon.
    Is that because we have sprinklers in our apartments? (Sorry George, had to comment there!).
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

  3. #3
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    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.


    Hmmmm I guess I kinda blew some of that when I had my engine fire two weeks ago, didnt I? Firstly, I did manage to get off Rte 50, and onto a quiet side street, so I did good there. It was after that when things went off schedule. I opened the hood, exposed the fire to greater O2, although at that time a fire was only suspected, not confirmed until AFTER I opened the hood.

    However, I did have a powder fire extinguisher, and a local resident also aided in this endeavour with an air/water can. No one was hurt, other than my pride and final damages tuned in at $650.00 for the fire.

    After an additional few $$ worth of repair, it was determined by the shop that my fuel pump, which is situated just above the exhaust manifold was failing, and had developed a leak. Perhaps this was the cause of the whole affair? In any case, no more leaks, and a new pump, transmission, clutch and clutch master cylinder (and now a new drivers seatbelt) all is good again.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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