While car fires do not happen frequently, everyone should be prepared for the possibility that they will have to deal with this potentially deadly emergency. In 2015, firefighters responded to over 170,000 car fires, and of those fires, 445 people died, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Continue reading to learn the signs of a car fire, and how to react to the situation.
Signs Of A Fire
Most car fires are caused by the vehicle’s electrical or fuel system. To prevent a fire from happening in your car, you should be getting your systems inspected at every service call. In the time between the visits with your mechanic, keep an eye out for these warning signs coming from your vehicle:
- Blown fuses
- Leftover oil from an oil change that spilled under the hood
- Fluid leaks under the car
- Loose wiring or wires with exposed metal
- Loud sounds coming from the exhaust system
- Quick changes in fuel level, oil level, or engine temperature
- Missing cap from the oil filler
- Broken or loose hoses
What To Do
While car fire prevention is important, sometimes a fire can still happen. In this situation, knowing how to react can prevent injuries and even save lives. As with any fire event, do your best to stay calm and act quickly.
Flames or smoke can occur in almost any part of your car while driving. They most frequently occur in the engine compartment, but can also occur underneath the car, near the wheels and brakes, in the dashboard, or even inside your car. Once you recognize the flames or smoke, put your turn signal on and move to the closest yet safe place to stop. This is often the breakdown lane, but can also be the median. Next, put the car in park and turn off the ignition. Get out of the car immediately, and if others are in the car, get them out safely and don’t allow them to go back for personal items. Move away from the vehicle and keep bystanders away, as the fumes can be toxic. Call 911 and alert oncoming traffic if possible. Do not try to put out the fire by yourself, as opening the hood or doors may accelerate the fire.
Fire Prevention and Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your rental property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and properties from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our wonderful customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.