We thank Mr Andrew Ang for his letter (Why the surge in vehicle fires?; Forum Online, Sept 7).
The number of vehicle fires has not increased.
There were 98 vehicle fires in the first half of this year, compared to 139 in the same period last year.
The primary causes of vehicle fires are overheating and electrical faults within the engine compartment.
Most of the fires occurred while the vehicles were on the road.
These fires usually start small but can develop rapidly due to the presence of flammables such as petrol, diesel and lubricants.
If motorists observe smoke emissions from their vehicle, they should pull over safely to the side of the road, turn off the ignition, evacuate all passengers, and call 995 as soon as possible.
It is a good practice to have a fire extinguisher in the vehicle.
To prevent vehicle fires, motorists should service their vehicles regularly to ensure that the electrical, engine and fuel systems are in good working order.
Motorists should also look out for signs of oil leakage from their vehicle.
Leslie Williams (Lieutenant-Colonel)
Senior Assistant Director (Public Affairs Department)
Singapore Civil Defence Force