Now that’s a fire!
This past Father’s Day I was surprised with a new BBQ grill for my backyard. I was so surprised to get one. Unfortunately, I wasn’t half as surprised as the driver of this taxi when their car turned into a “car-BQ”. What should you do if your vehicle catches fire? They do catch fire more often than you may think.
Cars can catch fire for all sorts of reasons. Most of the time, it is because of collisions. If a vehicle gets hit in its gas tank or the engine has taken a severe hit, a slight spark or electrical impulse, such as when batteries get ruptured, can cause a fire. Poorly maintained cars can catch fire too. Most of a vehicle’s fluids are flammable. Usually heat and electrical sparks plus a leaking automotive fluid (doesn’t matter which one) is all it takes for a vehicle fire to start.
The first thing to do is get the vehicle out of the traffic flow if you’re still driving it. Once stopped, secure your vehicle, turn off the ignition and grab your purse or wallet if it’s close by. Don’t worry about your ownership or insurance if you’ve left it in the glove box. Your insurance company will have that information on file. Other than what’s close to you, leave everything else and get out of the vehicle as quickly as you can.
The first thing to think about in any situation like this is personal safety. No need to injure yourself or anyone else; especially if your actions create another emergency the firefighters or paramedics. Having to recue you puts their safety at greater risk.
Make sure your passengers are also able to exit the vehicle; especially if you have young kids with you. Try to stay calm near your kids so they can also stay calm. If you panic, they can panic and perhaps run out onto the road into traffic. I know it’s easier said than done, but they need you to be the ultimate leader in this situation.
Once you’ve exited the vehicle, get as far away as possible from it. Try to stop anyone else from getting close to it and call 911 immediately to tell them there’s a car fire. Give them as good a description of your location as possible. I’m sure the firefighters will spot the smoke once they get close anyway.
Don’t try to become the hero and try to put the fire out yourself. The heat or flames could be getting closer to the fuel supply than you think. Once ignited, it could create a much larger problem for you and anyone else nearby.
Fire safety isn’t just for your home. It’s also needed for your vehicle. If you know what to do in advance, you can survive this ordeal.