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Car Fires: What to Do if Your Car Catches Fire

Car fires have been in the headlines a lot lately, with over three thousand incidents recently reported of certain models spontaneously bursting into flames without being in an accident.

If you were driving along and suddenly saw flames or smoke coming from under the hood, would you know what to do?

Keep reading for our quick guide on dealing with car fires.

Car Fires: The Facts

Fires involving vehicles are more common than you might realize. As a matter of fact, there are almost 200,000 car fires every year, or around 400 a day.

Generally, these incidents are due to mechanical malfunction or electrical issues. Collisions are only responsible for around five percent of the fires but contribute to sixty percent of highway fatalities. In other words, accidents aren't generally at fault for most vehicle fires, but where they are a contributing factor, they're highly fatal.

In around ten percent of cases, car fires are started due to misuse of materials like flammable liquids.

What to Do If Your Car Catches Fire

A car fire is dangerous because it can spread so quickly. A small space combined with combustible liquids like gas and oil is a ticking bomb. According to FEMA, you should follow these precautions to ensure the safety of you and your passengers.

  1. Pull over and turn the engine off. This will stop the flow of any fuels in your car.
  2. Get away from the car as quickly as possible with all passengers. Find a safe place at least 100 feet away from the car and stay there.
  3. Don't return to the car for anything, including valuables or personal property. If the fire reaches a fuel source, an explosion can occur.
  4. Call 911 and alert them to your location and situation. If your phone is in the car, flag down a passing motorist instead of trying to retrieve it.
  5. Don't attempt to extinguish the fire unless you have the proper equipment and know-how. Only Class B and Class C fire extinguishers are approved for car fires.
  6. Do not open the hood - it will add oxygen to the flames and could cause the fire to grow.
  7. Be mindful of where you're standing. Don't stand on or near busy or active roadways where you could be struck by a passing car.

The Safest Way to Deal With Car Fires

Not to toot our own horn, but of course we're going to recommend the Fireball to cut down on your chances of a dangerous car fire! The Fireball can ride under your hood or in your trunk (common places a car fire starts). If you have to pull over and evacuate, you can stay safely away while the Fireball extinguishes the fire for you.

The Fireball can stand between car fires and your fuel tank, minimizing risk and any resulting damage. This is especially important if you're involved in a wreck where you're trapped in the car or unconscious and can't escape.

Order an AFG Fireball for your car today and know you and your family will be a little safer on the road.