2020 records 87 vehicle fire incidents, says FRD

James Kon

Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) statistics show that there were 87 incidences of vehicle fire this year, from January to December 29.

In 2019, there were 89 cases of vehicle fire, where two persons were injured.

“The main identifiable causes of vehicle fire are faulty mechanical components, a leakage from the lubricant hose or hose connected to the vehicle components, and a loose connection,” said the FRD in a statement.

Human error and negligence are cited as the main causes, such as poor knowledge in selecting vehicle spare parts, leaving the car engine on for too long, and unattended open burning near car park areas.

Other causes include a faulty electrical system within the engine, a faulty wiring system and a faulty anti-lock braking system, a faulty fuse within the engine, a strong impact from an accident, and flames from an open bonfire spreading to the vehicle.

The FRD also cited two incidences of vehicle fire on December 28. The first, involving an SUV, occurred in the late afternoon at Jalan Telanai, near the Damuan Recreational Park.

The burnt vehicle at Jalan Telanai before the Damuan Recreational Park. PHOTO: FRD
FRD personnel inspect a vehicle after extinguishing the fire at the Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah Highway. PHOTO: FRD

Ten personnel from the Bandar Seri Begawan Fire Station, led by SO Haji Abdul Rahman, were dispatched to the scene, after being alerted at 5.25pm. The blaze was extinguished within five minutes.

The second incident occurred in the evening, on a stretch of the Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah Highway, leading from Kampong Katok towards Jalan Telanai.

Six firefighters from the Beribi Fire Station, led by DSO Md Arfan, rushed to the site, after receiving an emergency call at 7.29pm. The fire was extinguished by members of the public, before the arrival of the fire crew.

No injuries were reported in both cases, and the estimated cost of damages is still being assessed. Meanwhile, the FRD urged the public to cultivate more awareness on car fire safety. The installation of wiring for electric equipment in vehicles should be done by certified mechanics, to prevent fire hazards.

Car owners should avoid carrying out illegal modifications on their vehicles. They should also exercise care in obtaining spare parts that are suitable, safe and approved for use.

Inflammable items, such as power banks, should not be left inside the car.

It is also advisable to keep a dry powder fire extinguisher in the car. Vehicles above seven years should be inspected in qualified and accredited workshops.

For fire-related emergencies, contact the FRD hotline at 995.