What You Need to Know About Car Fires

August 8th, 2018 by

What do you need to know about car fires? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there is an average of 31 highway vehicle fires every hour which result in more than one death each day. Overall, highway vehicle fires represent 20% of all U.S. fires, 12% of U.S. fire deaths, 8% of U.S. civilian fire injuries, and 9% of the property damage from reported fires.

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What causes car fires?
Anyone of these things or a combination of them could lead to a car fire.

  • Collisions
  • Problems with the electrical system
  • Problems with the fuel system
  • Chemical reactions

Look for potential warning signs
The potential for fire and damage to property and life may be one of the best reasons to adhere to recommended maintenance schedules. Some of the things that can lead to car fires include:

  • Oil or other fluids spilled or leaking under the hood
  • Loose wiring
  • Frequent fuse shortages
  • Broken hoses
  • Missing oil cap
  • Rapid change in engine temperature

What should you do if your car catches on fire?
According to the National Safety Council, there are several things you should do that can mean the difference between life and death

  • Pull over IMMEDIATELY and turn your car off to stop the fuel
  • Get yourself and any passengers out of the car
  • Move to a safe spot at least a couple of hundred feet from the vehicle
  • Call 911
  • Do NOT use a fire extinguisher
  • Avoid the vehicle, the fire, and its toxic fumes
  • Alert oncoming traffic if possible

After the fire has been extinguished:

  • Do not return to your car until the fire department says that it is safe to do so
  • Take photos
  • Contact your insurance company
  • Get a copy of the police and/or fire department reports
  • Have the car towed

Each year, there are billions in property damage, thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. Do not become one of the statistics. Keep your vehicle properly maintained and know what to do if there is an emergency.