Car fires are not something most drivers plan for, but they can and do happen. When a fire occurs, your most important task is getting out of your car safely and keeping other members of the public far away from it until help arrives. Even after a small fire occurs, don’t attempt to drive your car again, but rather get it towed to a repair shop for inspection and to be fixed. If you have a car fire, follow these steps to stay safe.
Turn Off the Engine
Don’t allow your car engine to run, even if the fire doesn’t seem to be focused under the hood of your car. Your engine could generate sparks that feed the fire or contribute fumes that can make the smoke that is being caused by the fire more toxic. Turn off your engine at the first hint of smoke or flames.
Get Out of the Car
As soon as you see smoke or flames, you need to exit your car immediately. In some cases, this may be as easy as opening your door, but in other instances, your car door may be jammed or may be too close to the fire. If this happens, start by unbuckling your seatbelt and ensuring any passengers in your car do the same, so that they don’t become stuck. Break a window to exit the car as far away from the fire as you can. It can be helpful to carry a small tool for breaking windows in your car for this purpose. Get out as quickly as possible, without stopping to get any of your belongings.
Get Away from the Car and Call for Help
Your instinct may be to try to fight the fire, but this can be dangerous. Car fires can quickly get out of control, particularly if they are in the rear of the car, near the gas tank. Create distance between yourself and the car, and encourage fellow passengers and bystanders to also steer clear. Call 911 for help.
Whenever a roadside emergency leaves you stranded, Barnett’s Towing is available to help 24-hours a day. For a tow in Arizona, even in rural terrain, call (800) 722-2302.