The National Fire Protection Association provides a few tips in case your vehicle happens to catch fire. Vehicles can catch on fire for plenty of reasons, ranging from mechanical issues to a severe collision. If you see smoke or smell burning rubber or plastic, it’s important to react immediately and be prepared in such cases.

If your vehicle is on fire:

  • Pull over as safely as possible, as soon as you can, and make sure you use your signal lights.
  • The first thing you should do once you are pulled over is to shut off your engine.
  • Get everyone out of the car. Don’t let anyone go back for anything. It’s not worth it. Burning cars are extremely dangerous.
  • Everyone needs to be moved at least 100 feet away from the vehicle and be a safe distance away from traffic.
  • Dial 9-1-1 if you haven’t done so.

Preventing a vehicle fire:

  • Maintain your regular service check-ups. Skipping checkups is never a good idea, especially is you’ve been having some issues. Important things to check for include leaks, unusual noises, and shaking.
  • If you need to transport gasoline or other combustible products, use a certified gas sealed can, and put the windows down for ventilation. Never transport these sorts of products in the from seat.
  • Don’t park in areas where flammables, such as grass, paper, cardboard, etc., may come in contact with the catalytic converter (combustible product, located under your car).
  • Drive as safely as possible.

Picture of Man Extinguishing Car Fire

What to look out for:

  • Loose wires, unusual wire appearance (such as cracked, strained, or melted wires), and fuses that blow multiple times.
  • Any leaks.
  • A loose or improperly sealed oil cap.
  • Sudden changes in engine temperature, fuel level, and/or fluid levels.
  • Boiling engine.
  • Smoke.

Source: The National Fire Protection Association.

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