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Date: 14/04/2015
Source: DCC (D)

Fire extinguisher on board

Anyone going off on holiday by car and indeed anyone planning a camping trip, should make sure that they have a fire extinguisher with them. A fire extinguisher is not only essential should your own vehicle catch fire, but is also useful for helping others who find themselves in similar danger. They are part of one’s basic equipment just like a first aid box or high visibility safety vests.
The danger of your vehicle catching fire is more real than you may think, more especially so in the holiday season. Overheated engines can lead to short circuits and sparks causing leaky oil and hydraulic cables to catch fire.
So what do you do if your engine catches fire? First move your vehicle to the side of the road or on to the hard shoulder. Put your warning lights on and turn off the engine. With a glove or a damp cloth carefully open the bonnet just a fraction, otherwise the draught of air will fan the fire. Stand back about a metre and direct the fire extinguisher towards the source of the fire and, with the wind behind you, put it out by means of short, sharp, carefully directed bursts.
But before you tackle the fire yourself, remember to call the fire brigade and make sure everyone is safe.
All fire extinguishers should be checked by a specialist fire protection company every two years. All caravans and motorcaravans should be fitted with a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.