It’s easy to forget that cars can be really dangerous sometimes. They’re such an integral part of daily life here in the US that they seem pretty harmless most of the time.
But, did you know that 33 cars catch on fire every hour in the United States? It’s a serious issue, and emergency workers train regularly on how to rescue people from these situations. But it still leaves the question: what should you do if you’re in a car that catches on fire? We’ve got some safety tips for you below:
Know Potential Warning Signs
Most car fires are the result of problems with the electrical or fuel systems. If you notice that you blow fuses in your vehicle on a regular basis, any sort of leak under the car, or quick changes in the temperature of your engine or your fuel and oil levels, get your car into the mechanic as soon as possible. These are all serious problems that could cause a fire.
During The Fire
If you see or smell smoke or flames coming from your car, try to remain calm. Find a safe place to stop as quickly as you can. Turn off the ignition and get everyone out of the car. Get as far away from the car as you can, a minimum of at least 100 feet. Car fires can have toxic fumes, and the flames can be a danger if you’re too close. Call 911 and tell them your location and the situation.
Try to warn oncoming traffic and any onlookers if you can. Flares and signaling devices are great for these purposes. If you can’t safely get to these items in your car or set them out to be visible, don’t worry about it. Your safety is the most important thing.
While it may be tempting to try to put out the fire yourself, this can be incredibly dangerous because of all the flammable liquids in your vehicle. Even simply opening the hood or the doors and windows of your car could make the fire worse, because it increases the air flow to the flames. It’s much better to wait for the professionals from a safe distance.
Always remember that your car can be replaced, while people can’t. Don’t put yourself or others in danger to try to save your car.
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