By Robert Avsec
Fire departments across the United States frequently respond to vehicle fires, and just like responses to fire alarm system activations, this frequency can lead to complacent behavior on the part of firefighters and officers.
Car fires involving modern automobiles — constructed of high-tech composite materials and plastics — present fires that demand that personnel are properly equipped and that sound tactics are employed. The intense heat and noxious smoke produced by these fire present significant radiant heat and inhalation risks to firefighters and civilians alike.
- What initial actions would you and your personnel take if you responded to a similar incident?
- Are there a life-safety hazards in this scenario? If so, how would you and your personnel address those hazards?
- What are the safety hazards that firefighters must be conscious of when approaching and extinguishing a fire in today’s automobiles?
- Is there a legitimate exposure threat?