Often times, car fires ignite because of fuel leaks, defective electrical wiring or design flaws. What if your car caught on fire? How will respond if it was engulfed in flames while you are inside your car? In this post, I will explore some fire safety tips and statistics.
Let’s Look at the U.S. Fire Administration Statistics
According to the USFA website, their 2014 to 2016 report cited that 1 in 8 of fire emergencies are related to vehicle fire. Fire departments across the country responded to car fire incidents. If you put 1 in 8 incidents into perspective, that would be roughly 240,000 fires per year. Here are the other important details cited on the Highway Vehicle Fires document:
- More than 80% of car fires happen in passenger vehicles.
- Around 60% of all deadly car fires occur because of collisions.
- Mechanical failure tends to be the most common cause of vehicle fires.
- The car components that usually ignite first are the electrical wire insulation and flammable liquids.
- Most of the vehicle fires start in the engine compartment. In fact, more than 60% of all vehicle fires start in the engine or wheel area of a car.
Is Your Car at Risk?
Even though most of vehicle fires happen because of collisions, there are still instances when a fire starts without being involved in a crash. Here are some possible warning signs:
- Loose wiring or loose hoses especially when it is near a metal surface
- Fuse constantly blows up or explode
- A loud sound originating from the exhaust system
- Rapid changes in the car engine’s temperature, oil level, and fuel level
- Fluid leaking underneath the vehicle
Car fires usually ignite in the engine area, but fires can also begin under the vehicle, near the wheels, or inside the car.
What to Do When a Car Fire Occurs?
If you see flames spreading, do not panic. If you notice a smoke coming from your vehicle, there are some safety tips to follow.
Dos and Don’ts:
- If fire starts while driving, do use your signal lights and go to a safe place. Pull over at a parking lot or a roadside area.
- Once you are safe and not moving, do turn off the vehicle. Before the fire starts to engulf your car, get out of the vehicle.
- Aside from the burning fire, toxic fumes might leak from the car. Do not stay near or approach the vehicle.
- Instead, you should call 911 and let the authorities handle it. Do wait for the fire department before doing something drastic.
- Even if you have a fire extinguisher, please do not try to put out the fire yourself.
- Air will accelerate fire so do not attempt to open the hood, trunk or the car doors. Unless something life-threatening is happening, do not do this.
- Lastly, do not risk your life for your personal belongings.
Car fires can spread faster on newer cars because of the plastic and fiberglass materials. Batteries are also flammable materials. That’s why you should leave the extinguishing to the fire fighters.
When your car’s been damaged by a fire, it is not totally hopeless. You should do a comprehensive check on the vehicle. Even minor issue can eventually start a fire or a major accidents later.
That’s why it is best to locate a trusted auto body or glass repair shop. Call A + Plus Auto Glass at (623) 218-6844 to ask for free repair estimates.