Muscat: The incidents of vehicle fires in the Sultanate dropped significantly during 2018. According to figures released by Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA), a total of 837 cases of vehicles fires were reported from different parts of the country.
“The difference is 57 cases less than the number of fire incidents reported in 2017”, PACDA said in a statement. In 2015, a total of 715 vehicles caught fire while there were 802 cases in 2016 and 894 in 2017.
“Vehicle fires see significant rise during summer leading to human and property losses. This can be avoided through attentive care to maintain the vehicle and replace damaged parts with new and high-quality ones”, PACDA said.
In a recent advisory to motorists, Major Mohamed Walad Wadi, head of the technical inspection department in the General Directorate of Traffic said that the main cause of fire has been neglecting periodical maintenance of vehicles. As the temperature rise, motorists should pay more attention to their vehicles and reduce speed to avoid any untoward incidents, he said.
“Rising temperature has a negative impact on the performance of the vehicle in different ways. This can not only do damage to the vehicle but also cause accidents”, Some of the other safety measures are turning off the engine and mobile phones when refueling, keeping fire extinguishers, using only original spare parts – especially radiators – and getting vehicles repaired only at licensed workshops.
In case the vehicle catches fire, stop immediately. Evacuate passengers and try dousing the fire using an extinguisher. Disconnect the battery if possible to prevent further spread. He said that radiator is an important part that reduces the temperature at the engine parts, thus protecting it from being damaged and corroded.
“Therefore, water in the radiator water should be changed before summer and preferably get it cleaned at the time of periodic maintenance of the vehicle to avoid clogging of the joints and thus increasing the temperature of the engine of the vehicle”, he said. Major Walad also pointed out that the tyres should be replaced with new ones in accordance with technical specifications. This will ensure safety from friction of the edges of tyres and erosion.