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Preventing Injury and Cargo Loss through Fire Prevention

Vehicle fires are potentially deadly, particularly when an 18-wheeler is involved. As a commercial driver, you are especially vulnerable and must therefore implement good fire safety practices such as the ones listed below.

Importance of Regular Inspections

Prior to each trip, you should inspect your rig for issues that would make it more susceptible to catching fire. Some things to look at include:

  • Gas tank, checking for rust, holes, or leaks.
  • Fuel lines, to ensure they are well connected and not leaking.
  • Electrical wiring, for frays, nicks, cuts, or other damage.
  • Tires, to check inflation rates and see that no dual tires are touching.
  • Fire extinguishers, making sure they are available and well charged.

In addition to a thorough pre-trip inspection, you should also check your tires and wheels for signs of heat each time you stop. You might also want to look for fuel leaks after parking to grab a bite to eat.

Idling Safety Tips

There will no doubt be times when idling your truck will become necessary. Follow these tips to prevent fires and ensure you are not overcome by fumes.

  • Idle your engine at between 900 and 1200 rpms. This will provide you with the right amount of oil pressure to keep your motor functioning properly.
  • Have your exhaust checked on a regular basis to ensure you do not have any leaks.
  • Never leave your engine idling while your truck is unattended.
  • Consider installing a carbon monoxide/smoke detector if you regularly sleep while idling.

Miscellaneous Tips

There are a few other things you should do to prevent fires, including:

  • Ensuring there is adequate space around any flammable cargo for pallets to “breathe”.
  • Following proper safety procedures for fueling.
  • Avoiding the use of candles or space heaters.
  • Smoking at least 50 feet away from your vehicle.

A big rig fire can result in exponential losses to people, property, and cargo. If negligence is suspected, The cost you could be devastating. Follow these safety tips to protect yourself and everyone else out there on the road.