QCOSTARICA – The Cuerpo de Bomberos (Fire Department) reported that this year, so far, there have been 195 fires in vehicles, that is, on average, two daily,
The first responders reported that 12 of these incidents occurred on buses, which represents an increase of 9 cases with respect to the same period last year.
The common causes of vehicle fires are fuel system leaks, rotten fuel lines; faulty fuel line connectors and leaky fuel injection systems, among others, such as electrical system failures, faulty car battery, broken lightbulbs and short circuits caused by the breakdown of fuses, fusible links, and circuit breakers.
Other causes can include:
- Heat source: Overheated engine due to worn-out water pump or cooling fan; heat from powered equipment; smoking and driving; hot or smoldering objects
- Aftermarket accessories: Installations not carried out by authorized technicians can inadvertently introduce an electrical fault and cause a fire
- Catalytic convertors: Catalytic converters can be a magnet for road debris that catches on the converter’s heat shield and burns; if clogged or overworked, it can easily overheat
- Rodents/animals: Nests that act as kindling; stashes of nuts; soy-based wire insulation that attracts rodents to chew through the wiring
- Dangerous cargo: Propane tanks and gasoline jerry cans can fuel a fire in the event of a collision; transporting or storing toxic chemicals in vehicles not designed for the task
Typically, a vehicle fire stays contained to the vehicle. However, if the subject vehicle is located in close proximity to another vehicle, then there is potential for radiant heat to affect other exposed vehicles, leading to deflagration.
More than half of all highway vehicle fires originate in the engine area or near the wheels. Less than 20% of vehicle fires originate in the passenger compartment, and fewer than 5% of vehicle fires originate in the cargo area or trunk.
Josué Lara, the spokesman for the Fire Department, asked the population for caution with the vehicles they drive.
Firefighters ruled out that this situation has to do with the change in the operator of the vehicle technical review that occurred last year.