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WATCH: Driver watches helplessly as his Land Rover SUV sets ablaze in Mpumalanga - Here's what to do if your car catches fire in SA

2018-08-28 10:26

Robin Classen

Image: Laevelder / Lowvelder

It was an afternoon to forget for a South African driver who was forced to watch helplessly as his Land Rover Discovery caught on fire in Mpumalanga.

Video footage, captured by Lida van Huysteen, shows the SUV, with a caravan hooked up to the rear, set a blaze along the route in Patatanek, Schoemaskloof, reports Low/Laevelder.

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The driver reported technical issues prior to the blaze. Fortunately no one was hurt.

We've included safety tips for motorists at the end of this article.

Check out the video:

Here are safety suggestions to follow when your vehicle is smoking/on fire: Info by Arrive Alive
• Stay calm. The worst thing that you can do is panic. Panic will cause you to waste precious seconds and make mistakes. 
• If the vehicle is moving, signal and move to the side of the road. 
• Fire feeds off oxygen and even slow forward motion will force air into the engine compartment, stoking the blaze.
• Pulling to the side makes it possible for everyone to get out of the vehicle safely. 
• Turn off the ignition to shut off the electric current and stop the flow of fuel. 
• Put the vehicle in park or set the emergency brake; you don't want the vehicle to move after you leave it. 
• Make sure everyone leaves the vehicle but do not waste time and increase your risk by removing personal belongings. 
• Move away from the blaze. Keep traffic in mind and keep everyone together. There is not only danger from the fire, but also from other vehicles moving in the area. 
• Keep onlookers and others away.
• Do not go back into a burning vehicle
• Warn oncoming traffic. 
• Notify emergency services from a safe distance
• Do not open the hood or trunk if you suspect a fire under it. Air could rush in, enlarging the fire leading to injury. 
• Be cautious of attempting to put out the fire yourself –There is a risk of explosion and toxic fumes emanating from vehicles fires. Inhalation of toxic fumes is the most common form of fire-related death.
• One thing is certain - An emergency is not the time to start reading the instructions on your fire extinguisher. Everyone should have a fire extinguisher easily accessible in the passenger compartment.
• If the fire is relatively small and in the interior, use your extinguisher. If there's a small amount of smoke coming from under the hood, pop the release but don't lift the hood. Quickly spray through the gap, from several feet away, aiming at the base of the fire rather than the flames. The logic is based on the fact that fire feeds off oxygen and lifting the hood can turn a little fire into a large one, instantly. If the fire is large or located in the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank, your chances of safely extinguishing it are small.

If you’re involved in a crash and it’s not possible to get out immediately:
• Unlock the doors and windows. Do whatever you can to accomplish this critical step. 
• Even if you cannot open the door yourself, unlocking the doors will give bystanders or rescuers a good chance of removing you from the burning vehicle.
• Get your seat belt off. This must be done quickly so the heat of the fire does not fuse the metal of the buckle to its anchor. 
• If the metal is too hot to touch, use a piece of cloth to cover your hand so that you can release the buckle. 
• If the buckle won't release, push the shoulder strap over your head and try lifting your legs out from underneath the waist strap.
• Kick out a window. If you cannot get the door open, the next best thing is to kick out a window. Getting a window open will allow smoke to exit the car and will also give you an escape route. 
• Use both feet against a side window, if possible, to shatter and then pop the window out of the frame.




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