How to prevent a car fire
Picture used for illustrative purposes.

Dubai: With temperatures rising across the UAE, vehicle owners have been warned to protect their cars from catching fire during the summer months. The high temperature can lead to overheating or affect flammable items in the car, leading to the vehicle catching fire, Abu Dhabi police has warned.

In an advisory by Abu Dhabi Police and the Abu Dhabi Civil Defence Authority on March 24, residents were provided information on the major causes of car fires and the prevention measures.

Five reasons that lead to car fires

According to Major Dr Adel Al Saqri, Head of the fire department for forensic evidence at Abu Dhabi Police, vehicle fires occur as a result of neglecting certain safety and prevention measures.

The police authority first explained the five major causes of car fires:

1. Cars contain flammable elements such as liquid fuels and oils, and internal components such as plastics, rubber, etc.

2. Car owners may have left flammable liquid materials inside.

3. Vehicle owners may have used parts that are not original or compatible with the car’s mechanism.

4. Failing to disconnect electronic devices in the car. For example: forgetting to unplug your phone charger in the car.

5. Installation of car parts done by an unlicenced professional.

How to prevent vehicle fires

In the video, Lt. Colonel Engineer Salem Hashem Al-Habashi, Director of the Public Safety Department at the Abu Dhabi Civil Defense Authority, provided three essential tips to prevent vehicle fires:

1. Prevent car fire accidents by carrying out regular maintenance by a specialised technician.

2. Conduct periodic maintenance of the vehicle and deal with specialised repair shops. Dealing with illegal repair shops can lead to serious malfunctions.

3. Keep a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit.

Awareness campaigns

Police authorities in different Emirates regularly raise awareness on the problem of car fires. Last year, for example, the Dubai Police General Command issued an advisory urging motorists to ensure their vehicles are well-maintained at trustworthy agencies and body shops to avoid sudden breakdowns or even fires during Summer.

Sharjah Police, too, ran an awareness campaign to inform motorists of ways they can stay safe.

According to Colonel Adel Al Mazmi, Director-General of the Forensics Laboratory in Sharjah, most fires were the result of human negligence.

He added that vehicles involved in an accident can also catch fire if the collision affects the fuel-related parts of the vehicle or if there is an electrical spark in the engine, which can ignite a leaking fuel.