Not many people don’t enjoy kicking back and watching a fire blaze in their fireplace. Gathering around a bonfire is also a favorite pastime for many; and anyone who doesn’t wish they could be roasting marshmallows over a campfire instead of browsing online is clearly missing the bigger picture. However, even though fire can be a useful comfort, when a fire starts in an unexpected place it can quickly become dangerous.
One such place is in your car.
If you’ve ever witnessed a fire get out of control, you know that it doesn’t take long for a few wisps of smoke to turn into a raging blaze. The danger is exponentially increased during car fires because you and your loved ones may be trapped inside a car with the smoke, heat, and flames.
So what do you do? How do you protect yourself and family from smoke inhalation and burns while getting them to safety? Do you have a plan? You should!
Safety Guidelines for Car Fire Survival
According to the United States Fire Administration, over 150,000 car fires are reported annually in the United States. Considering that the USFA responds to a little over a million fires a year, this means that one out of every seven of these fires are vehicle fires. Given these statistics, don’t you think you’d feel safer if you knew what to do in case a fire breaks out in your vehicle? Would your family feel more protected if they knew you could take control faster than a fire can get out of control?
This is why it’s important to not only know the proper steps to take, but also how to stay calm and protective during and after a vehicle flame-up.
When your car begins to smoke or you see flames from the engine or console you unfortunately do not have the luxury of hesitation or second-guessing yourself; the danger is immediate. Thankfully, once you’ve learned the following safety tips, you can protect yourself and your family from a car fire without hesitation or doubt.
At the first signs of a potential car fire—sparks, smoke or flames—follow these steps to safely exit your vehicle:
- When you see signs of a vehicular fire, the most important thing you need to worry about is your safety. Do not ignore the signs or try to identify the problem on your own.
- Immediately turn off the engine. Overheating, electrical sparks, and fuel fumes can potentially feed a fire.
- Ventilate. Crack a window to ventilate smoke and fumes so you don’t pass out.
- Unbuckle yourself first. Even though your immediate intention may be to save your family, you can’t adequately help them if you’re still restrained.
- Get out. Exit the car as quickly as possible while helping others do the same. If for some reason the doors are jammed, 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 window-breaker or multi-function car tool in your glove box.
- Step back. Get as far away from the car as possible. Fumes, gasoline, and upholstery can ignite and explode very quickly; therefore, keep your distance and do not return to the car once everyone is safely out. Keep onlookers at a safe distance as well.
- Get help. Call the fire department so emergency personnel (who are specially equipped to handle vehicle fires) can extinguish the flames. Do not attempt to put the fire out yourself.
The Help You Need to Sift Through the Ashes
Safely getting yourself and your family out of and away from a car fire is only the first step of protecting them. What are you going to do about their medical care? Were they burned? Do you have any injuries? Who’s going to pay for the ambulance that was needed to get your daughter oxygen? You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers.
Take the next step to protect your family’s future by allowing us to sift through the wreckage and see if you’re entitled to compensation for your car fire injuries. We believe that if you or a loved one sustained serious injuries due to a car fire that was no fault of your own, you deserve a fair financial recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your case. We can help you understand your rights, file an injury claim, and get the answers and justice you deserve. You survived the fire, now get the help you need to survive the aftermath. Call now!
Did you know that you can use your social media to help make sure your family and friends are protected? Click the familiar media icons to share this page on Facebook or Twitter. You can also tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about a recent accident. Remember, Gibbons Legal here to help. Make sure your loved ones know where to turn when their vehicles go up in smoke.