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May 14, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

9 in 10 cars don't have fire equipment

NINE out of 10 private cars in the city are not equipped with on-board fire extinguishers, despite these being required by regulations, local traffic police said yesterday.

The figure was revealed amid debate over the necessity of on-board fire extinguishers.

This began after a video clip was posted online, showing a man being burnt to death after a car hit his motorcycle on a highway in Qingpu District.

Amid the shock and anger at seeing the driver stand by and watch the victim burn, some residents are wondering whether the man could have been saved if the car was equipped with a fire extinguisher.

They believe that had the device been fitted in the vehicle, a female passenger who tried in vain to help the victim by trying to use her coat to smother the flames could have extinguished the blaze.

Eventually, a driver in another car used an extinguisher to put out the flames in seconds, but it was too late.

Fire extinguishers in private cars can save lives, especially during the upcoming summer days when accidents, such as spontaneous combustion of vehicles, are more likely, Qingpu District traffic police warned on their official microblog on

Although every private car has to be equipped with a fire extinguisher if it is to pass the annual vehicle inspection, many drivers simply borrow the devices for the test, traffic police said.

Shanghai Daily has found that one of the reasons for drivers' unwillingness to have the extinguishers in their cars is that they don't believe the one-liter cylinder is effective against fire.

"Once my car's tire caught fire and, after I used up the whole cylinder in 10 seconds, the fire continued to rage," said a driver surnamed Wang.

"It's useless but takes up a lot of space in the trunk."


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