If you suspect a fire!
Fire, some thoughts on what to do if you suspect a fire
Its worth developing a plan to handle suspected fires under the bonnet and to practice it,
(without actually setting the car on fire)
Fire needs three components for the car to burn :
Combustible material ( gasoline, the plastic body and the upholstery to say nothing of the contents including people)
oxygen (21% volume in air)
and a source of ignition; either an electric spark or a hot metal surface will do. The auto-ignition temperature of gasoline is 550-650 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus a hot manifold could well cause problems if sprayed with gasoline in air.
Your plan should consider the following points:
If you smell burning or if you see a trail of smoke behind the car....
Firstly if you suspect a problem pull over and stop at a safe location. Hazard lights on and engine off. The engine is adding fuel and air (fan) to the potential problem
Everybody out. Yes it may be raining, Yes it may be a sleeping baby etc. Sitting strapped next to a tank of gasoline is not desirable when there is a potential fire. Make sure they are all out safely and clear of on-coming traffic. Don’t forget the mobile phone to phone for the fire brigade.
Do not be in a hurry to lift the bonnet for a look until the engine has cooled down. Lifting the lid could just provide the air to a stifled fire.
Fire extinguishers need to be handy, adequate for the job and current. You also need to know how to activate them ( safety pin out) and how to smother the fire. Read the instructions. If you can't put the fire out quickly, then get well clear and don't let anybody get close.