If you find yourself in a fire entrapment situation where a shelter deployment is not possible, using a vehicle for refuge may be an option. The following are some considerations for a vehicle entrapment:
Park the vehicle in an area void of vegetation.
Fire out around the vehicle if there is time.
Park behind a natural barrier or structure.
Do not park on the downhill side of a road or under power lines or over-hanging vegetation.
Stay out of saddles or draws.
Position the vehicle in a direction that provides the area occupied by crew personnel the maximum protection from an approaching flame front.
Set the parking break, leave the motor running at high RPM, and keep the vehicle lights on.
Roll up the windows and do not lock the doors since someone else might need to get in.
Cover windows with fire shelters with reflective material placed against window.
You must protect your airway, remain as low in the vehicle as possible, and use a dry bandana to cover your nose and mouth.
Expect the following conditions if you are trapped inside the vehicle:
Temperatures may reach over 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Smoke and sparks may enter the vehicle.
Plastic parts may start to melt and give off toxic gases.
Windows may start to crack.
Exposed skin may receive radiant heat burns.
If the vehicle catches fire, or windows blow out, and you must exit the vehicle before the fire has passed, then:
Each crewmember should cover himself/herself with a fire shelter.
Exit the vehicle from the side away from the greatest heat.
Stay together and get as low to the ground as possible, moving away from the vehicle.
Deploy your shelter in a safe area.
For more safety tips from the Federal Fire and Aviation Safety Team, visit its Six Minutes for Safety section at www.nifc.gov.
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FireRescue1.com or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.