6-12 Fire Prevention
Fire Prevention Week is coming and it is a good
time to review with your drivers how to prevent
fires and how to react to a fire that occurs in
their commercial motor vehicle.
extinguisher inspection is a vital part of a
driver's daily vehicle inspection process.
It amazes me how many times I will be looking at
a truck and find the fire extinguisher has lost
it pressure do to a leak or was used and
returned to the truck without being
recharged. The actions of a driver at the
time of a fire are crucial in saving lives and
controlling the amount of loss.
a fire occurs in a commercial motor vehicle the
driver has to know two things:
Knowlege about fires.
How to operate a fire extinguisher.
safety and fire extinguisher operation should be
part of every new driver's orientation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations require
that all commercial motor vehicles have a fire
extinguisher on board that is of the correct
size, type and properly secured and
labeled. Did you know that a CMV with
hazardous materials is required to have a
different size extinguisher than those not
carrying hazardous material?
are the requirements:
Emergency equipment on all power
truck, truck tractor, and bus (except those
towed in driveaway-towaway
operations) must be equipped as follows:
power unit that is used to transport hazardous
materials in a quantity that requires placarding must be
equipped with a fire extinguisher having an
Underwriters' Laboratories rating of 10 B:C or more.
power unit that is not used to transport
hazardous materials must be equipped with
fire extinguisher having an Underwriters'
Laboratories rating of 5 B:C or more.
Each fire extinguisher required by this section
must be labeled or marked by the manufacturer
with its Underwriters' Laboratories rating.
The fire extinguisher must be designed,
constructed, and maintained to permit visual
determination of whether it is fully charged.
location, and mounting.
The fire extinguisher(s) must be filled and
located so that it is readily accessible for
use. The extinguisher(s) must be securely
mounted to prevent sliding, rolling, or vertical
movement relative to the motor
a fire occurs in a Commercial Motor Vehicle the
driver should take the following
- Get the truck off of the roadway and
into an open area if possible. Park
away from buildings, trees, vehicles or anything
else that may catch fire.
- Call 911 on your cell phone to report
the fire and location.
- If the fire is already to a size that
cannot be extinguished get away from the
truck. Your life and the life of the
general public is your first
- If you are operating a tractor trailer
and can safely disconnect the trailer from the
tractor do so as not to damage both units
and cargo in the fire.
- If the engine is on fire turn off the
engine as soon as possible.
- Do not open the hood if possible and try
to extinguish the fire from the louvers,
radiator or underside of the truck.
Opening the hood will provide additional
oxygen to fire and it will increase at a more
- If the fire is in your trailer or cargo
box of the truck keep the doors shut.
Here again additional oxygen will increase the
intensity of the fire.
- A tire fire will not likely be
extinguished with a fire extinguisher.
Try throwing dirt or sand on the tire to
smother the fire.
you can do to prevent the likelihood of a fire
starting in your Commercial Motor
- Complete a thorough pre and post trip
inspection daily of the fuel, electrical,
exhausts systems, tires and cargo of your
- Keep the unit clean from excess grease,
fuel and oil.
- Monitor your dash gauges while in
operation for signs of overheating.
- Utilize your mirrors for signs of smoke
- With new Post Emission 2007 and newer
units be aware of regeneration of the after
treatment program and where the
regeneration occurs as exhaust temperatures
reach high levels of heat.
- Know the cargo that you have on board
and its fire