Explosions and massive car fires in movies and TV can make car fires seem like a common occurrence. And while they’re not super common, car fires still claim more than 300 lives every year. Car fires can happen suddenly and without warning. Still, there are some signs to look for and practical safety tips you can follow to help keep you and your loved ones safe on the road.
What Can Cause a Car Fire?
There are several things that can cause a car fire. The most common causes are blown fuses, faulting or loose wiring, and collisions with other cars. Often though, there are several factors such as spilled gas, missing oil caps, and other issues that can compound to create a scenario in which a car fire could happen.
Car Fire Safety Tips
Here are a few tips from our team at Beetlesmith’s to help prevent a car fire from breaking out in your vehicle:
⁃ Regular Maintenance
We’ve talked about this several times on the blog. But it’s true! Keeping up with regular maintenance and serving is one of the best ways to prevent a car fire. It can also help you save money by catching possible repairs before they become bigger issues. Maintenance schedules can vary widely depending on your make and model, how often your drive, and the conditions under which you drive. Your vehicle’s manual often contains a suggested maintenance schedule to help keep your car in tip-top shape. Getting your oil changed and battery charged are both simple steps that can help significantly lower your changes of a fire.
⁃ Be Wary of Gas
Whether you’re filling up or hauling extra fuel in case of emergency, it’s important to practice common sense and safety when handling gas. Never handle or fill up gas while smoking or near an open flame. If you need to carry a gas can in your car, never keep it in the front seat or near the engine. If that can heats up enough it could easily spark a fire and accelerate it quickly out of control. Make sure to use only containers designated to carry gas, and never store gas in your car long-term.
⁃ Only Approved Repairs
A common cause of car fires is a misfiring part due to faulty hardware, bad installation, or unnecessary or dangerous modification. It’s important to make sure that all parts you have put on your car are approve for that vehicle. It’s also essential that everything is installed correctly. The best way to ensure this is by having your car repaired and upgraded by the pros.
What to Do If There’s a Car Fire
Even with proper mitigation efforts, accidents can happen. Here are steps to take if a fire breaks out.
- Pull over immediate and shut off the engine
- Make sure everyone in the vehicle(s) gets out of the car safely. You want at least 100 feet of distance between you and the car.
- Call 9-1-1
If your car catches on fire, do not waste time grabbing bags or looking for phones. A car fires is serious business and could become worse at any moment. Do not pop the hood to check underneath. This could flare the fire and make it even worse.
If you need your car maintenance or other auto repairs done, visit our team Beetlesmith’s. Our team of trained specialists is ready to help you get your car in tip-top shape to keep you safe on the road.