What to do if you car catches fire

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Car Accidents

Few experiences are as terrifying as a car suddenly catching fire. Flames can spread quickly, and quick action can mean the difference between life and death.

Despite the danger, it is no time to panic. Knowing what to do in this situation can minimize damage.

What to do if your car catches fire

If your car catches fire, pull over immediately. Then, shut off the engine to halt the flow of fuel and cut power to the car. Evacuate all passengers promptly, and move at least 100 feet away from the burning vehicle.

Try to position yourself upwind to avoid inhaling toxic smoke, and call 911 without delay. Also, stay off of active roadways. If you parked by the roadside, remain behind the vehicle to avoid oncoming traffic.

Generally, you should leave extinguishing the flame to the fire department. Only attempt to put out a small localized fire if you have a clear path to the source. In such cases, you must use a suitable fire extinguisher, and ensure you know how to operate it correctly. Maintain a safe distance from the car while doing so.

How to avoid car fires

Regular maintenance is key to preventing car fires. Have a professional mechanic service your vehicle frequently and address any leaks or issues promptly. Familiarize yourself with normal oil levels and engine temperatures.

When transporting gasoline, use a certified sealed gas can, and keep a window open for ventilation. Do not transport gas cans or propane cylinders inside the passenger compartment. With electric vehicles, follow manufacturer guidelines for charging, and only use certified chargers.

Finally, pay attention to warning signs that could indicate a potential fire risk. For example, be alert to the smell of burning rubber or plastic, and address recurring blown fuses. Quickly repair any oil or fluid leaks, and watch for significant increases in engine temperature.

Knowing how to respond if your car catches fire and taking preventive measures can make a substantial difference. Staying prepared not only enhances safety but also ensures proper handling of insurance claims, leading to fair compensation for such incidents.

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