My Car Caught Fire!

September 13, 2016

car fire safetyHave you ever thought, “What do I do if my car catches fire?!” It could be after an accident or for a mechanical reason. And we just read in the Utica OD that a Tesla car caught fire in France during a promotional tour.

So how do you prevent car fires in the first place? We went to the National Fire Protection Association for advice and a Safety Tip Sheet. Here’s what we found.

Your Car is on Fire, Now What?

  • The first thing to do if you see smoke or flames or smell something burning is to pull over as quickly as possible. Try to do it safely using your turn signal and get to a location off the road if you can.
  • Get everyone out of the car. And there is really no reason to return to the car.
  • Move everyone at least 100 feet from the burning car, but as far away as you can. Also keep everyone away from traffic.
  • Now call 911.

Besides an Accident, What Can Cause a Car Fire?

  • Remember, most car fluids are flammable. Heat or electrical sparks plus fluid can start a fire.
  • If a fuse blows more than once or you notice cracked or loose wiring or electrical problems, you may be in danger of a car fire.
  • Oil or fluid leaks can cause a car fire.
  • An oil cap not on securely.
  • If you notice rapid changes in fuel or fluid levels or in your engine temperature, bring your car to the garage for a check.

What You Can Do to Prevent Your Car from Catching Fire

  • See above signs that something might be wrong with your car that could start a fire. Get your car serviced regularly from a garage with professionally trained mechanics.
  • Try not to transport gasoline. We realize that you have to get the lawnmower gas tank filled, so be sure that it’s a certified gas tank. And keep a window open for ventilation.
  • Do not transport gas cans and propane cylinders in the passenger seat.
  • Don’t park your car where flammables, such as grass, are touching the catalytic converter.
  • And the main thing aside from vehicle maintenance, drive carefully. Drive defensively. Avoid accidents by slowing down and definitely don’t text and drive.

Most car crashes don’t result in a fire. We hope that just by reading this short post, especially the first part, you’ll realize that if you are involved with a burning car, you’ll know not to panic and to turn off the engine and get everyone away as fast as you can.

If you’re wondering whether you have insurance on your car in case it burns, call us. We’ll talk about whether you should have Comprehensive Coverage, which insures your car for fire if the cause isn’t a collision. You’ll also want the right deductibles for Comprehensive and Collision insurance.

And we might be able to save you some money, too!

Until next time,

Your SZW Team

Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.