Every year in the United States, over 200,000 cars catch on fire as a result of accidents, poor maintenance, and dangerous manufacturing defects. Although many of these fires are small and cause minimal damage, approximately 15 percent of them cause serious passenger injuries and fatalities due to smoke inhalation, burns, and concussive explosion forces. In addition, 25 percent of firefighter fatalities are attributed to vehicle fires due to fuel explosions.
Although you may feel that you and your family will never have to deal with a car fire, don’t you think you should be prepared anyway? Isn’t it better to be overly prepared and know what to do, rather than caught unaware and potentially putting the lives of your family at risk, all because you didn’t think something like that would happen to you?
Don’t get caught off guard. Take precautions. Be prepared, and make sure you know exactly what to do in the event of a car fire. You and your family will be glad that you did
Car Fire Safety Guide
During a car accident, it is normal to become dazed, disoriented, and panicked, especially when you’re afraid for your and your family’s safety. Unfortunately, when an accident causes the immediate danger of a car fire, you do not have the luxury of hesitation. When it comes to a fire, a few moments could make the difference between a successful escape and a horrific tragedy. This is why it is important to be able to recognize the signs of a fire before it gets out of hand, as well as know exactly what to do to in order to get your family to safety before the flames get out of control.
Thankfully, once you’ve learned the following safety tips, you can protect yourself and your family without hesitation or doubt during a car fire. At the first signs of a potential car fire (sparks, smoke, or flames), follow these steps to safely exit your vehicle:
- Immediately turn off the engine. Overheating, electrical sparks and fumes can continuously feed a fire.
- Ventilate. If the car is rapidly filling up with smoke, crack a window to ventilate so you don’t pass out. Make sure there are no flames in the car when you ventilate as the extra oxygen could cause flare ups.
- Unbuckle yourself first. Even though your immediate concern may be to save your family, you can’t properly do so if you’re still restrained.
- Get out of the car. Exit the car as quickly as possible. If you have passengers in the vehicle who are unable to get out themselves, help them; remember to free yourself first and then provide assistance to others if you can do so safely. If the doors are jammed for some reason, break a window furthest away from the fire and exit that way. Car windows can be hard to break and seat belts can get stuck, so make sure you have a multi-function auto-safety tool in your glove box.
- Get as far away from the car as possible. Fumes, gasoline and upholstery can ignite and explode very quickly; therefore, you must keep your distance. Do not return to the car once everyone is out, and attempt to keep onlookers as far back as possible to prevent explosion injuries.
- Call the fire department. Do not attempt to extinguish the flames on your own. Emergency personnel are specially equipped to safely handle vehicle fires, but they can’t get there if you don’t call them. As soon as you’re safely away from the flames, call the fire department or police for assistance.
Venting the Flames of Anger, Irritation, and Regret
Given the potential risks involved, do you think vehicles should have more safety features to prevent fire injuries? Should manufacturers be fined when fires break out? How do you feel about vehicle fire potential? Do you have other ideas for car fire safety that you would like to share?
Let it all out. In the comment section provided, please feel free to leave your opinions, concerns, and suggestions for us (and fellow clients like yourself) to read and contemplate. Not only will you be helping us learn more about you and your case, but you’ll also be providing essential social opinion to help us and our clients stay safe while pursuing our injury claims.
Need more information about whether your accident warrants pursuing a wrongful injury claim? With the proper representation, your lawyer can help you discover where and how the problem started, as well as who was to blame. If the incident was not caused by your own mistakes, than you may be eligible for a vehicle injury settlement.