The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us to focus on two aspects of our daily lives – social distancing and sanitization. In the post-COVID-19 world as well, these two aspects would be very essential and must be practised in our daily lives for a considerable amount of time in the future as well.
With India beginning to resume its various businesses across the country as per the new Unlock 1.0 guidelines, it becomes very important for people not to lower their guards and be complacent. Not only self-sanitizing is necessary but also the machines and accessories you use on a regular basis.
In what comes as a horrific visual, a video has surfaced on the internet which showcases a bike getting caught in flames in the process of being sanitized during the spraying of disinfectants upon it. The video’s location is undisclosed, however, it seems to be the gate of a company where a worker is seen punching his card before moving forward to a couple of security guards who are carrying out the cleansing process.
The entire footage has been recorded on the CCTV camera installed at the gate. While the bike was instantly caught in flames as soon as it came in contact with the disinfectants, none of them, including the driver, have been majorly injured. The driver may have sustained some minor burns as during the sanitization process he is seen sitting on the bike itself.
Reason Behind The Fire
Now, why did this lead to an inferno? First of all, the things which came into contact with the hot exhaust pipe, i.e. the disinfectants which probably contained high amounts of alcohol, or other such inflammable substances and with appropriate energy, which is heat, they could easily catch fire. What’s even more dangerous is inside the tank of the bike – petrol, which is a lot more inflammable than the disinfectant. If somehow the bike manages to catch fire, the petrol inside will lead to a bombardment of the bike in a big manner, causing detrimental damage to the people in the nearby surroundings. In this case, the bike owner was fortunate enough that the people around were aware of the situation and quickly doused the fire before letting the heat to the fuel inside.
Precautions To Be Taken
First of all, the spraying of an alcoholic solution from the outside into a vehicle is a dangerous proposition itself. Alcohol is immensely reactive and in the presence of heat, it doesn’t take a moment for it to start flaming. Therefore it is better to sanitize the main touchpoints such as handles, grips, seat, fuel switch, electrical controls, etc, using a non-alcoholic solution. Even if one wants to carry out full sanitization using disinfectants, it is very important to note a few points.
The first step is to ensure that the vehicle’s engine is off. Preferably, the vehicle should be kept at idle for some time so that it cools down and the heat doesn’t react with any inflammable content in the disinfectant. The spaying of disinfectant must not be carried out in the open for two reasons. Firstly, under the sun, the metal of the fuel tank and body becomes super hot. Secondly, if the vehicle catches fire, there will be no way to cut the oxygen supply as it is an important ingredient in combustion.
To make things clear, Combustible agent (alcohol) + heat + oxygen results in inflammation. If we cut off one these, we might be able to douse the fire. We must be careful enough not to make such silly mistakes as shown in the video above. As we move forward in our daily lives, it is very clear that we have to live with coronavirus for a considerable amount of time in the future until a vaccine is created. Till then, we need to ensure that we do our part to curb the spread of this deadly virus. At the same time, apply proper methods of sanitization so as not to compromise on anyone’s safety.