It happened completely out of nowhere. You had just picked up your kids from Wilson Morrison, and you were discussing what they did at school and how much homework they had, when a truck ran the stop on Chester and collided straight into your front end.
Thankfully, most of the force crushed the front passenger’s side area, and your kids were sitting in the back. However, as you were checking them for any serious injuries, smoke started to fill the car. As you glanced out the front window, you saw a small flame flickering on your hood. The driver of the truck began screaming at you to get out as the flame got larger and larger, spreading toward the windshield.
You start to panic. What do you do? How do you get your kids to safety?
Are you going to die?
Dos and Don’ts for Car Fire Safety
The United States Fire Administration estimates that one out of every eight fires in which emergency personnel respond are vehicle fires. According to the USFA’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), an estimated 171,500 highway vehicle fires occur in the United States, resulting in an annual average of 345 deaths; 1,300 injuries; and $1.1 billion in property loss.
When experiencing a car accident, it is normal to become disoriented, confused and panicked, especially when you’re afraid for you and your family’s safety. Unfortunately, in accidents that produce the immediate danger of a car fire, you do not have the luxury of hesitation or second-guessing yourself. But 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 exit your vehicle safely:
- Immediately turn off the engine. Overheating, electrical sparks, and fumes can continuously feed a fire
- Ventilate. If the car is rapidly filling up with smoke, crack a window to ventilate, so you don’t pass out.
- Unbuckle yourself first. Even though your most urgent priority may be to save your family, you can’t properly do so if you’re still restrained.
- Exit the car as quickly as possible and help your passengers 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 multi-function auto-safety tool in your glove box
- Get as far away from the car as possible. Fumes, gasoline, and upholstery can ignite and explode very quickly; therefore, keep your distance, do not return to the car once everyone is safely out, and keep onlookers at a safe distance as well.
- Call the fire department. Emergency personnel are specially equipped to handle vehicle fires. You aren’t. Do not attempt to extinguish the fire yourself.
- Tend to injuries. If you or any of your passengers are injured or burned, call for medical assistance immediately.
All types of fire, no matter where they originate, can potentially be deadly. However, the risk for injury is dramatically increased when trapped within a confined space, such as a vehicle. This is why it is extremely important to have the right tools and know-how at your disposal, in order to evacuate the vehicle quickly and survive a car fire.
Have you or a loved one recently suffered serious injuries during an escape from a vehicle fire? If so, you may be eligible for treatment and injury compensation. Contact us now for a free evaluation to see if your accident warrants an injury claim. Don’t allow someone else’s mistake to affect your family; call today!
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