Aaron was driving on the expressway one night when he smelled something burning and saw smoke billowing from his car after a few seconds. Feeling that something wasn’t quite right, he shut off the engine and came out of his car. Few minutes later, there was an explosion and his car was on fire.
Would you have done the same if you were Aaron?
Car fires are rare, but it is an extremely dangerous situation that many drivers do not know how to handle. Some people assume that the car will have to hit something before it can catch fire but that’s not true. Last year, a Mini Cooper caught fire shortly after the driver parked his car in a carpark in Tiong Bahru.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that most vehicle fires in Singapore occur while the vehicles are on the road. Most fires are caused by ignition sources, such as overheating or electrical faults within the engine compartment. While no one can predict when a vehicle fire can happen, here are some things you can do to prevent it.
Preventing Vehicle Fire
- Service your vehicles regularly at authorised vehicle workshops
- Ensure that the vehicle’s electrical, engine and fuel systems are checked for any defects during servicing
- Conduct periodic visual checks for any sign of oil leakage
Although some car owners may complain about the cost of servicing their vehicles regularly, it can also help keep you safe. Spending a few hundred dollars repairing your car and having any weird sounds or symptoms checked out is better than having a car worth over hundred thousand dollars go up in flames.
What to Do If Your Car Catches Fire
When you observe smoke or flames coming from your car, you need to act quickly:
- Slow down, signal and pull over to the left side of the road.
- Turn off the engine and evacuate from the vehicle immediately. Distance yourself from the vehicle to prevent any potential injuries in case of an explosion or fire.
- Call the SCDF on 995 for help.
- If the fire is small and there is a fire extinguisher around, you can try to put it out on your own. But remember that safety is your top priority.
- While waiting for help, warn other road users or traffic of the burning vehicle and keep others away from the vehicle/fire.
Does your car Insurance cover a vehicle fire?
If you have comprehensive car insurance or Third Party Fire and Theft insurance then you are covered. If you have either of these two types of coverage with DirectAsia, you have protection against losses and damages that occur because of a fire to your vehicle. In this case, you should also call our emergency hotline for assistance to help you navigate the claims process.
DirectAsia will assess if your car is worth repairing or if it is beyond repair. The maximum coverage will be up to the market value of your car. We also provide optional benefits which can be helpful in case of vehicle emergencies, such as medical expense cover and 24-hour breakdown assistance.
You should be aware that your NCD might be affected if it is found that your negligence is the cause of the fire, say in the case of irregular servicing. This is why it is important to service your car regularly!
Car fires can and do happen, so make sure you know what to do if a fire emergency happen. It can only save your life. Get covered with DirectAsia car insurance today!