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Managing Vehicle Fires Safely

06/01/2009
BY DOUG LEIHBACHERVehicle fires remain an integral part of fire department responses. According to the U.S. Fire Administration’s October 2008 Topical Report, “Highway vehicle fires account for approximately one-sixth of all fire responses annually.” Considered a “routine” response by many firefighters, these fires account for the following: approximately 400 civilian deaths annually; 1,700 civilian and 1,100 firefighter injuries; and $1.3 billion in property damage each year.Although there has been a downward trend in the number of vehicle fires over the past decade—from 381,000 in 1998 to 258,000 in 2007—the hazards associated with these incidents...

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