Sharjah: In Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, police have launched a campaign titled ‘Your safety is our concern’.

Brigadier Saleh Al Matroushi, Director-General of Ajman Civil Defence, told Gulf News that most fires were the result of negligence.

Brig Al Matroushi said investigators found that the leading causes were improper maintenance of electrical systems, illegal modifications to the vehicle, and smoking inside the car.

He said that vehicles can catch fire during a collision in two ways. “Vehicles involved in accidents can catch fire if the collision affects the fuel-related parts of the vehicle or if there is an electrical spark in the engine which ignites leaking fuel,” he said.

Brigadier Al Matroushi said a fire or explosion during car accidents can result from a spark caused by either friction or an electrical charge from the engine.

A spark will result from friction when two solid bodies are rubbed against each other (two vehicles or the vehicle against the pavement).

“Generally, the causes of collisions and then explosions or fires are due to two reasons — the vehicle or the motorist,” Brigadier Al Matroushi said.

Brigadier Al Matroushi said regarding the vehicle, it could have flaws in the manufacturing, maintenance or tyres which could cause the collision.

But in the case of motorists, the reasons are reckless driving, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fatigue or failure to pay attention to the road.

Brigadier Al Matroushi said the best way to prevent fires is to follow simple safety precautions.

These include regular maintenance of the vehicles by specialised technicians, daily monitoring of the car’s water and temperature levels, tightly closing the fuel tank cap to avoid leakage, avoiding smoking at all times and turning off the engine when filling the fuel tank.

Brigadier Al Matroushi said if a fire erupts a proper response is required. A fire extinguisher should always be present in the car.

“The vehicle fire incidents that recently occurred were due to a lack of awareness among motorists and car owners on the need to have a fire extinguisher available in the vehicle, as well as the risks associated with the failure to perform regular maintenance.”

Brigadier Saleh Al Matroushi has urged all vehicle owners to carry fire extinguishers in their cars.