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What Should I do In Case My Car Catches Fire?

 Do you know that a fire happens to cars every two minutes and 54 seconds in the United States? This is according to the Insurance Information Institute. According to U.S Fire Administration (USFA), there were 212,500 car fires in 2018, and one-eighth of all fires that fire departments across the U.S have responded to are car fires.

Such statistics show the high likelihood of your car catching fire and reiterates the need to have some information on what to do when your vehicle is engulfed in flames. While some causes of vehicle fires could be arson or intentional actions, there are other causes. The best auto collision center in San Antonio, Miracle Body and Paint is honored to delve deeper into this topic and provide some valuable insights.

Causes of Car Fires

As mentioned earlier, in some cases, people set vehicles ablaze intentionally to conceal crimes. However, there are accidental car fires caused by defective electrical wiring, fuel leaks, and design defects, among other reasons.

Interesting Car Fire Information

  • More than 80% of car fires happen in passenger vehicles.
  • Approximately 60% of all fatal car fires are a result of collisions.
  • Flammable liquids and electrical wiring insulation within the engine compartment are the main items that usually ignite first.
  • One of the leading causes of car fires is unintended actions because of mechanical failure.
  • More than 60% of all vehicle fires and almost 40% of deadly highway fires originate from the engine area or running gear (suspension, wheels, steering).

How Do You Know That Your Vehicle is a Fire Risk?

Even though thousands of car fires result from collision, there are still possible red flags that show that your car could turn into a ball of fire at any moment. They include:

  • Loose or cracked wiring or wires with exposed metal
  • Fuses that keep on blowing
  • Extremely loud noise emanating from the exhaust system
  • Loose or broken hoses
  • Rapid changes in oil levels, engine temperature, or fuel levels
  • Leaking of fluids, such as oil beneath the vehicle.

Although plenty of fires originate from the engine area, other potential starting points include the dashboard, brakes, wheel area, or even on the inside from, for instance, a careless cigarette smoker.

What to Do During a Vehicle Fire

What would you do if your vehicle caught fire while you are inside? According to auto safety professionals at Miracle Body and Paint, in case you see flames or smell smoke originating from your car as you’re driving, remain calm, and follow the steps below:

  • If you are driving in traffic, use the turn signal, and instantly pull over to the immediate safe area, for instance, a shoulder, parking lot, or a median.
  • After the vehicle completely stops, turn off the ignition.
  • Start by getting every person out of the car, (starting with yourself) as far away as possible from the toxic fumes and flames. Don’t entertain curious passerby’s approaching the burning vehicle.
  • After everyone is over 100 feet from the car, call 911 immediately and wait for the firemen to get to you.
  • Even if you have a fire extinguisher, don’t attempt to put out the fire by yourself.
  • Unless it is a matter of life and death, avoid opening the trunk, hood, and doors since such actions might fan the flames and increase the fire.
  • Keep passengers who may attempt to retrieve personal belongings away from the fire.

Miracle Body and Paint: Fire and Collision Repair Experts

Remember that vehicle fires burn very fiercely due to the fiberglass and light plastics they are made of (especially in newer cars). Batteries can also pose a challenge when extinguishing the fire. As your trustworthy auto collision center in San Antonio, Miracle Body and Paint can, in some circumstances, be able to repair cars damaged in fires. We are your bodywork experts, and we are just a phone call away!