Despite the rise of virtual workplaces, it’s now more common than ever for employers to supply a vehicle to employees either as a pool car or for full-time use; a car, truck or motorcycle has become a regular tool of trade for many people.
WorkSafe Australia estimates over 50% of all vehicles are purchased initially for commercial use and over 30% of all registered vehicles are currently being driven for work purposes. In addition, a third of all road travel across Australia is business related and the average work vehicle travels three times the distance of your family car.
Therefore, managing the risks to drivers and passengers of business vehicles is vital to ensuring the safe and sustainable running of your fleet.
As well as the usual regular maintenance and roadworthiness testing, our fire services team recommends that every business vehicle is fitted with an appropriate fire extinguisher.
The reasons for this might seem obvious, but it’s interesting to note that the RACV reports that ‘Victoria’s fire services have attended an average of two accidental vehicle fires a day over the past two years’, with call outs involving cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, caravans and camper vans.
Some of the common causes of vehicle fires are:
- perished fuel hoses that spring a leak
- electrical and mechanical faults, such as an overheating engine
- dropped cigarette
- vandalism and arson
- driving through long grass on a hot day
Carrying a properly secured fire extinguisher in your work vehicle will help minimise the risk of a vehicle fire taking hold – however, it’s important to note that it should only be used by someone who has completed fire safety training and only if the fire is small enough to be extinguished.
In the next blog post, we’ll be looking at the classes and sizes of fire extinguishers that suit your work vehicle.
For more information about having fire extinguishers installed in your fleet of commercial vehicles, or to book an appointment with our expert fire safety team, simply give us a call!