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an official from Dubai Civil Defence said drivers should check the radiator and engine oil before hitting the road. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Leaving flammable materials inside cars in Dubai with the increase of temperatures in the summer can cause fires, officials have warned.

During the summer months, an increase in car fire incidents can happen due to a variety of reasons, however Dubai Police said the main reason behind car fires in the city is the failure to get annual safety inspections done from reputable automotive service centres and leaving flammable materials like perfumes, lighters or sanitisers sprays in cars.

Dozens of incidents

First Expert Ahmad Mohammad from the Fire Section at the General Department of Forensic Sciences and Criminology at Dubai Police said there were 94 fires in vehicles from January 1 to April 10.

“Blazes were reported in cars, buses and trucks this year. The main cause was poor inspection or getting the servicing done from non-certified garages,” Mohammad said.

He added that faulty wiring can lead to a malfunction in the car’s electrical system and cause fires. “Drivers should have regular service checks. They must ensure to take their cars for servicing at reputable garages and avoid unauthorised modifications or using parts that are not compatible with the electrical system of the vehicle.”

Case in point

The expert said that several cars once had caught fire at a parking lot in Dubai. Investigations revealed the presence of flammable material nearby that caused the fire in one vehicle before it spread to all the cars.

“Don’t leave liquids containing flammable material inside a vehicle. Motorists must also remember to disconnect all electrical devices in a car before leaving the vehicle because these devices can later overheat, especially when ambient temperatures are high, and cause fire,” Mohammad advised.

Meanwhile, an official from Dubai Civil Defence said drivers should check the radiator and engine oil before hitting the road.

“Vehicles contain several flammable liquids and materials, and once a fire starts spreading, it can quickly escalate the danger,” the official warned.

Rising incidents

Moreover, Ajman Civil Defence have said on Twitter that the percentage of car fires during summer surged in recent years, resulting in fatalities and financial loss.

“The increase of the engine temperatures can cause a fire in cars as well as leaving flammable materials inside the cars. Traffic accidents can [also] cause fires,” Ajman Civil Defence said on Twitter.

“Monitor the engine oil, regular maintenance and avoiding smoking inside the car can prevent car fires.”

Mohammad urged people to leave their vehicles quickly and stay away as soon as there is any smoke. “People should know how to use car fire extinguishers and what to do during car fires. It is important not to leave children alone in cars,” he added.

Dubai Civil Defence said that best way to survive car fires is to move away from the fire and call the emergency services or dial 997.

According to Ajman Police, people shouldn’t leave flammable materials inside the cars, especially during the summer season.

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Areas to watch out for
The flammable materials and items include:
• Spray sanitiser
• Perfume
• E-cigarette
• Deodorant spray
• Lighter
• Power bank
• E-scooters

Follow these safety tips:
• Monitor the engine oil and radiator levels before your trip
• Turn the engine off at petrol stations and avoid smoking
• Get annual safety inspections done from reputable automotive service centres
• Close the fuel tank cap firmly
• Keep a fire extinguisher inside the car
• Keep a first-aid kit onboard