Vehicle Fires—Dangerous, Preventable?
Deadly fires can occur when a vehicle's battery sends current through wires or to electrical components that have been damaged in a crash.
(NAPSI)—According to the U.S. Fire Protection Agency, fire departments respond to over 250,000 vehicle fires per year. Each year, these fires cause an average of 408 deaths, 1,256 injuries and $787 million in property damage. Fires caused by collisions and rollovers resulted in nearly 66 percent of these fatalities. These deadly fires can occur when the battery sends current through wires or to electrical components that have been damaged in a crash.
To minimize the potential of these dangerous vehicle fires, leading automotive companies like Audi, Mercedes and Porsche have incorporated a simple device that instantly and automatically cuts off current flow from the battery upon airbag deployment. Unlike a fuse, which allows current to flow, this new device automatically cuts off the current and eliminates the potential of an arc-initiated fire.
Unfortunately, this technology, though inexpensive (estimated under $10), is currently available on only certain luxury models. It is expected, however, that these devices will become more standard equipment as other car companies elect to upgrade their vehicles to protect consumers from becoming burn victims or casualties of these deadly fires.