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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

High temperatures cause spate of car fires in UAE

The Ministry of Interior launched a campaign explaining how to prevent car fires.

An overheated car bursts into flames in the Hadath area of Umm Al Quwain. UAQ Civil Defence
An overheated car bursts into flames in the Hadath area of Umm Al Quwain. UAQ Civil Defence

A spate of car fires caused by high summer temperatures has prompted a safety campaign from the Ministry of Interior.

On Wednesday a car burst into flames after its engine caught fire in the Hadath area of Umm Al Quwain.

A team of firefighters extinguished the blaze before it spread to nearby shops but it is suspected to be the seventh car fire in the emirate over the past few weeks.

Col Hassan bin Sarm, head of the UAQ Civil Defence, urged motorists to carry out regular maintenance work on their cars, especially during the summer, to ensure their safety and the safety of other road users.

On Thursday a 27-seater bus was gutted by a fire on Sheikh Zayed Road. The bus driver said he sensed something was wrong in the vehicle and urged his passengers to get off, according to Dubai Police.

Experts say fuel leakage, old and poorly maintained cars as well as loose cables and old wires can lead to car-fires.

“The first and most major cause is a fuel leak, fuel leak from fuel pump, fuel lines or tank,” said Sergej Korogodin General Manager of ZNZ Garage

“Fuel and especially fuel fumes are highly flammable and a cigarette butt or even high temperature can start a fire.”

Mr Korogodin said the most common cause of vehicle fires is an overheated exhaust or non-genuine upgraded exhaust system which is improperly installed.

“Motorists should have their cars serviced at qualified service centres along with regular check-ups on oil and water levels. They also need to understand that adding non-genuine, aftermarket accessories and modifications can also lead to a fire,” Mr Korogodin said.

The Ministry of Interior’s Civil Defence department has posted videos on Instagram explaining how to prevent car fires.

Civil Defence said leaving flammable material and aerosol cans in a car can cause fires. An overheated engine, exhaust sparks, poor maintenance and accidents can all contribute to car fires.

Flammable objects that can easily catch fire in the car include fuel, oil, rubber, plastic and the interior fabric.

Civil Defence advises motorists to monitor their car’s cooling and oil levels daily and to have regular maintenance checks by specialised technicians performed on their cars.

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