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In the event of a car fire, you will be likely in shock and panicked, as they don’t happen nearly as frequently as car collisions.

However, a car fire is just as deadly, so it’s worth knowing what to do in the event of a car fire. 

Car on Fire

Causes of car fires

Unfortunately, the majority of car fires are started deliberately, either by arson, by criminals trying to cover their tracks or committing insurance fraud.

Only 35% of car fires are accidental, stemming from manufacturing issues and fixes that may have accidentally been done wrong.

Sometimes a car fire is down to the lack of basic car maintenance, so make sure you’re getting regular servicing on your car and complete MOTs when they are due. 

Dealing with a car fire

When a car fire starts, it’s vital you act quickly before you’re overcome with smoke and can’t evacuate the building.

Vehicle fires spread rapidly, so follow these steps in the event of a fire:

  • Pull over immediately and switch off the engine, this stops the flow of fuel, which is highly flammable. 
  • Get yourself and passengers out of the car and as far away as possible.
  • DO NOT return to the vehicle for possessions, the vehicle might explode at any moment. 
  • Call 999, or if you have left your phone in the car, flag down another motorist and get them to call the emergency services for you. 
  • Stay aware of your surroundings whilst you wait for help, you might have stopped next to a busy roadside and it’s important you stay away from moving traffic. If you’re with kids stay extra vigilant and keep an eye on them. 

You may have the instinct to try and put out the fire yourself, but unless you have the right fire extinguisher, you may be causing more damage than good:

  • Opening the hood of the car will let more air reach the flames, which will in turn fuel the fire. 
  • Do not put water on the flames, the water might wash the burning petrol away to other areas where it will cause further problems. 
  • If it’s crucial you attempt to put the fire out without the proper fire extinguisher, earth and sand are a good way of suffocating the fire. 

Protect & Detect is a leading fire safety and security company, servicing Ipswich, Colchester, Cambridge, Bury St. Edmunds, Chelmsford and beyond.

Protect & Detect offers a wide range of fire safety and security services including; fire alarms, fire extinguishers, burglar alarms, intruder alarms, fire sprinkler systems, access control, door entry systems, CCTV, barriers, nurse and warden calls. Contact our friendly team today for a quick quote.


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