Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the car population in Singapore has strangely been on the rise. Data from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) indicated a 4 percent rise of cars from 2020 to September of 2021, with the car population climbing to about 577,000 strong.
The increase of cars in Singapore might lead to more freak occurrences revolving vehicles on the roads, with the incident of a Mercedes catching fire earlier in January being a recent example. Though a rare occurrence, car fires do occur due to a multitude of reasons and here are some tips on their prevention and what to do should you find yourself in this unlikely situation:
How to Prevent Car Fires
Maintain your Car Battery
An ill-maintained battery is a prime suspect when it comes to car fires. The battery releases hydrogen through its charging cycles, which when mixed with the electrical current and flammable liquids, can easily be the start of a car fire. Ensuring your battery has no leaks and that there is no buildup near its contact points will keep your car safe from potential fires.
Be Wary of Aftermarket Products
Products bought to pimp up your ride might also be a culprit to car fires. Stereo systems with their network of wires that run through your car might be dangerous when not installed properly—with a simple crack in the wiring becoming a fire hazard when exposed to the flammables within your car.
Keep your Car Clean and Flammable Free
A buildup of trash in your vehicle can potentially become a fire hazard, with paper and debris acting as fuel for a potential fire that spirals out of control. Transporting flammables such as gasoline and diesel is also ill advised, for obvious reasons. In the event transporting such substances is unavoidable, ensure they are in sealed containers for transport, and make sure your windows are wound down for ventilation. Carrying a fire extinguisher in your car can also be a lifesaver in the event of a freak fire accident.
What to do when Your Car Catches Fire?
- Do not panic, slow down and pull over to the side of the road
- Turn off the engine and evacuate from the vehicle. If in possession of a fire extinguisher, you can try to put out any sparks, but proceed with care.
- Move away from the vehicle to prevent any injuries
- Call the authorities at 995, or the police at 999. After reporting your situation, you should inform your insurance provider too. HL Assurance operates a 24-hour Emergency Hotline at 6922 6009.
- Stay calm and wait for help to arrive. Take photographs of the accident scene as they are to be included in the accident report to be filed later.
Insurance plans by HL Assurance cover loss or damage to your car by fire.
How to File a Car Insurance Claim?
Ensure that you have:
- Accident report
- Completed claim form (for windscreen claims only)
- Police report (where applicable)
- Particulars of witness, if any
- Medical / Specialist reports (for injury claims)
- Bills / Invoices of incurred expenses, e.g. towing fees, medical fees etc.
- Any other documents supporting your claim
Following, you can submit these original documents to substantiate your claim with your insurer. For cars insured by HL Assurance, email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to 6224 1923, or post to HL Assurance office at 11 Keppel Road #11-01 ABI Plaza Singapore 089057.
Save yourself the Hassle
Owning your own car is a high point in life, and losing all your hardwork and money to an unexpected fire will not be worth it. Ensuring that your vehicle is insured will save you all the headache and heartache of losing your car to an unexplainable fire, giving you the hassle free experience on the road you deserve.