Car explosion video highlights dangers of 'ticking timebombs'

The potential for explosion increases with every advance in technology


Firefighters are placed in dangerous positions every time they go to work. Online video hosting sites just confirm what we already know as firefighters.

Our job is dangerous and far too often fatal. We know all firefighter deaths are not preventable, but we do know there are ways we can limit or risks and probability of injury or death.

Online, we are often exposed to firefighter near misses, close calls, and fatal events. These newspaper stories of the past are now caught on video and posted to online video hosting sites.

We never seem to learn from the fires that we can control our personal exposure risks. It still isn't clear to me why we are making aggressive attacks on non-occupied vehicle fires.

The potential for explosion increases with every advance in technology. In general firefighters are racing into vehicle fires with limited protection and no sense of the explosion hazards. The following video was posted to YouTube last month.  

The car fire takes place on Wilshire Blvd at the beginning of Detroit Street in Los Angeles. It reminds us once again of the explosive dangers of vehicle fires. Remember: there are no heroes in unoccupied vehicle fires.

Things to consider when attacking a fire include:

Apparatus positioning
Wind, leading fluids, exposure issues — how should we position our equipment and make the attack?

Life hazard
Occupants or no occupants — how aggressive do we really need to be?

Type of car
Airbags, struts, bumpers, tires, hatchbacks, magnesium blocks, two piece rims, green vehicles

The unknown
Fertilizer, propane tanks, gas containers, weapons, etc.

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