If he could, teenager Austin Bailiff would talk to every kid in the world about gas and fire. He knows what it’s like to think, “It can’t happen to me.” And he lives every day with the terrible reality that it can.
Share Austin’s videos with your kid. Sometimes, hearing stuff from other kids is more powerful than hearing it from us. That’s Austin’s hope. That’s why he tells his story.
Watch these videos with your kids. It just might save their life or keep them from a lifetime of pain from burns
What to Do If Your Car Catches Fire–Car Fires Are More Common Than You Think
Vehicle fires are one of the scariest things that can happen on the road and they happen more often than you think. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says 33 car fires are reported every hour in the U.S., and 18 percent of all reported fires occur on a road or highway and involve a motor vehicle. Teens and young adults with driver’s licenses are most likely to be involved in car fire accidents, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, and young males are victims more often than females.
These statistics, while sobering, don’t mean you should worry that your vehicle is going to spontaneously combust on your drive home from work. But safe driving and regular maintenance are important to reducing your chances of being involved in one of these incidents.
Cars can catch fire for all sorts of reasons. Most of the time, it is because of accidents. If a car gets hit in its gas tank or the engine has taken a severe hit, a slight spark or electrical impulse, such as when batteries get ruptured, can cause a fire. Poorly maintained cars can catch fire too. Leaking gas lines, head gaskets, cracked blocks, cracked radiators, leaking fuel lines, and the list goes on, are all potential fire hazards. This is the reason why you change your fluids, especially oil every so many thousand miles. Doing so helps keeps your car’s seals intact a long time. Pretty much all of a car’s fluids including the car itself are flammable. Usually heat and electrical sparks plus a leaking automotive fluid (doesn’t matter which one) is all it takes for a vehicle fire to start.
Here are a few common-sense tips that can help prevent vehicle fires, provided by the National Safety Council:
While you are moving on a roadway:
1. Signal your intentions and move to the right lane.
2. Get onto the shoulder or breakdown lane.
3. Stop immediately.
4. Shut off the engine.
5. Get yourself and all other persons out of the vehicle.
6. Get far away from the vehicle and stay away from it. Keep onlookers and others away.
7. Warn oncoming traffic.
8. Notify the fire department. CALL 9 1 1
9. Dont attempt to try to put out the fire yourself. (The unseen danger is the possible ignition of fuel in the vehicles tank.)
While the vehicle is stopped in traffic or parked:
1. Shut off the engine.
2. Get far away from the vehicle.
3. Warn pedestrians and other vehicles to stay away.
4. Notify the fire department. CALL 9 1 1
5. Dont attempt to try to put out the fire yourself. (The unseen danger is the possible ignition of fuel in the vehicles tank.)
1. If you smell burning plastic or rubber, pull over safely and investigate. Don’t try to make it home before you determine what the trouble is.
2. Get in the habit of having your car tuned up and checked out at least once a year. An inspection should include examining the vehicle for gas or oil leaks. If you suspect a leak, park a newspaper under your vehicle at night and weigh it down with a heavy object; in the morning, check the paper for stains.
3. If a fuse keeps blowing, that’s a sign of electrical trouble, the same as in your house. Don’t let it keep happening without investigating, as an overloaded wire can be the source of a fire.
Dousing the Flames
Most fires, are a result of a malfunctioning fuel line or a fuel pipe splitting. If you smell something burning, shutting off the engine will stop the flow of fuel and may prevent a full-blown fire. It’s natural to panic in an emergency, but make sure you get off the road first so you’re not a hazard to other drivers, or yourself.
Experts counsel not to attempt to extinguish a raging car fire yourself, but there are circumstances when you can try if you have a fire extinguisher. If there is smoke coming from under your hood but no flames, you can crack the hood slightly and spray at the gap from a few feet away. Do not open the hood all the way as the increased oxygen could quickly turn a tiny fire into a big blaze.
However, if the fire is in the rear of the vehicle near the gas tank, you should get away quickly. Only a professional should attempt to douse fires of this sort.
What to Do in a Parking Lot
If your car catches fire while you are driving, the most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then follow these steps, which also apply if your car ignites in a parking lot.
1. Signal and move immediately to the right shoulder, or right lane.
2. Get the vehicles stopped and shut off the engine while getting yourself and all passengers out of the vehicle.
3. Get as far away from the vehicle as you can, at least 150 feet, but make sure the area you move to is safe and secure.
4. Dial 911, so the dispatcher can notify the fire department.
5. Warn onlookers and others to keep away, as well. If you have some signaling device, you can also attempt to warn oncoming traffic.
Ways to help prevent vehicle fires
While some car fires occur in collisions, they are more often caused by problems with a vehicles electrical or fuel system. Your best line of defense is to have these systems checked out at every service call. In between times, look for these potential warning signs:
· Fuses that blow repeatedly
· Spilled oil under the hood left over from an oil change
· Oil or other fluid leaks under the vehicle
· Cracked or loose wiring, or wiring with exposed metal
· Very loud sounds from the exhaust system
· Rapid changes in fuel level, oil levels, or engine temperature
· A missing cap from the oil filler
· Broken or loose hoses
FIRE SAFETY FIRST, FIRE SAFETY ALWAYS!
Information from Clovis Fire Dept, Farmers Union Insurance, AAA, National Fire Incident Reporting System and NSC
Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald Safety and Security Manager for Plateau keno
You, like the rest of us, like your clothes to smell fresh and be soft so you throw in a dryer sheet designed specifically to do just that.
Problem is the dryer sheet may not only be sending your dryer to a premature death but might actually be dangerous. Why? Because those dryer sheets, over time, deposit a thin film over the lint filter that isn’t visible to the naked eye but that can cause your dryer to have to work harder and harder and may actually cause it to overheat (burning out the dryer or starting a fire).
Test your lint filter… take it out and drip water on it. The water should go straight through; if it doesn’t it’s because of the waxy build up.
To remedy the problem, just put together a maintenance schedule that includes washing the lint filter with soap and water and an old toothbrush.
It will not only extend the life of your dryer but also potentially prevent a fire.
For additional tips and hints on dryer maintenance and safety check out safetyathome.com’s “Dryer fires and how to prevent them“
Having just finished the “Deadly Dozen” of conditions and unsafe acts, as applied to the workplace, I wanted to now turn my attention to the home. I don’t have 12, but I do have 10.
The home is supposed to be a haven, a place of rest, a place of safety. Unfortunately, in many cases, it is anything but. It reminds me of the guy who moved 12 miles away from where he used to live. When asked by his friend why he moved he answered “I heard that 80% of accidents happen within 10 miles of your home so I moved 12 miles away”
There’s a guy who didn’t quite understand the nature of the problem. The truth of the matter is that a home can be a safe place with a better understanding of the nature of the issues that cause accidents in the home.
Today’s number one…
I think that I’ve probably already mentioned it before… I have a relative who almost burned her house to the ground because she put some oil on the stove and ran upstairs while it was heating up and forgot about it. The result was a kitchen fire that almost destroyed the whole house. She was able to get herself and her son out of the house so no one was injured but a few more minutes and it might have been a whole lot worse. As it was it cost a lot of money and a lot of time to fix the smoke and water damage from the fire department. The truth is that unattended cooking is still the number one cause of home fires.
Understanding the potential danger of hot oil or grease on a stove; seeing how fast it can spread can be an eye-opening experience. Because we cook every day, we tend to get complacent and careless but the fact is that your stove can be extremely dangerous.
While I’m warning you about the stove… make sure that the handles of all pots and pans on the stove are always turned inward, especially if you have small children.
Even if you don’t have small children, it is so easy to accidently bump the handle if it’s hanging off the edge.
A quick scan in Wikipedia of the worst industrial accidents of the past few years make obvious how serious today’s unsafe condition is; fires and explosions make up a huge percentage of the accidents. Just this past year, sugar dust at Imperial Sugar caused an explosion that was labeled “the deadliest industrial explosion in the United States in decades” (See the 4 posts on this blog concerning this explosion).
More lives are lost through fires and explosions than any other industrial accident. Conditions that are conducive to fires and explosions cannot be tolerated in the workplace.
It is obviously beyond the scope of a daily post on a blog to try to solve the issues of fires and explosions in the workplace. A great place to start, however is “The Basics of Fire Safety” which is part of our “Basic Safety” series. Understanding the fire triangle, understanding combustibles, to chemical safety, … all of these are crucial.
For a proper assessment of the potential problems in your workplace, hire a professional, have the fire department do a walk-through, hire an industrial hygienist to do a proper evaluation.
It may cost a bit of money to have all this done but compared to the cost of the lives involved (not to mention the fines which, for Imperial Sugar amounted to $8,777,500) it is nothing.