Advice on Preventing and Dealing with Car Fires

Advice on Preventing and Dealing with Car Fires

August 12, 2019

While it’s true that many car fires are caused by collisions, they are also often caused by problems with electrical wiring, the fuel system, or lit cigarettes that have been left in the vehicle.

It goes without saying that regular maintenance checks are crucial, and drivers should never store inflammables inside the car (even when there is a car fire extinguisher handy). It is also wise to keep your vehicle free of paper and debris, which could allow a fire to quickly get out of control – and always be careful when installing aftermarket products.   

Warning signs to watch for (via State Farm):

  • Fuses that blow repeatedly
  • Spilled oil under the hood left over from an oil change
  • Oil or other fluid leaks under the vehicle
  • Cracked or loose wiring, or wiring with exposed metal
  • Very loud sounds from the exhaust system
  • Rapid changes in fuel level, oil levels, or engine temperature
  • A missing cap from the oil filler
  • Broken or loose hoses

What to do if you have a vehicle fire (via State Farm):

  • Stop the car and turn off the ignition
  • Get every person out of the car and don’t allow anyone to go back for personal items
  • Move far from the burning vehicle to avoid the flames and toxic fumes (at least 100 feet) and also keep bystanders back
  • Call 911
  • Alert oncoming traffic if possible

Once the fire has been extinguished, you will have questions about your car insurance coverage. Contact your agent right away. Remember to take photos of the incident and the damage, and collect the names and contact info of any witnesses. 

DISCLAIMER: This information was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage. Schwartz Insurance Group makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.