Any driver needs to know what to do if their car catches on fire – from the right information to the right equipment that ensures they and their passengers remain safe.
Firstly, panicking will only add more confusion to the problem. Preparing beforehand for this potential situation will help you avoid panicking, as you will have run it through your mind beforehand, thinking through how to manage it best.
Most importantly, the immediate steps to be taken to escape a situation like this are enlisted below:
IGNITION – First step is putting your hazard lights on, stopping the car and turning the ignition off. When you pull over make sure it is well away from other traffic and you can exit safely.
VACATE – Hop out of the car and assist your passengers in getting out safely and quickly.
MOVE AWAY – Take your herd away and raise signals to warn the traffic coming that way. Do this from a distance, from both your car and the traffic.
ALERT POLICE – Call 000 and explain the situation. Police, and potentially the fire department, will head to you quickly and manage the rest of the traffic when they arrive.
FIRE EXTINGUISHER – If you have experience in handling the fire extinguisher you may try putting it out. Only do this if you are 100% certain the fire is safely centralised and won’t spread to somewhere that causes a car explosion. If you’re unsure, stay as far away from the car as safely possible.
STAY AWAY FROM BONNET – A humble attempt may fail and end up increasing the flames and you end up burning your hands if you open it. Or worse. Don’t touch what you don’t understand or you will risk your life.
INFORM INSURANCE COMPANY – Contact your car insurance Australia provider and notify them about the incident so they can help you through the claims process.
GATHER HELP TO TOW – Once the fire is put out and it has been confirmed as safe, call your roadside assistance provider or a towing company to take the wounded car to an authorised car service centre.
You can also take a few preventive measures so you don’t have to meet with the same destiny down the track.
These include: Regularly service your car, avoid smoking while you sit in the car, keep an extinguisher close to the driver’s seat, bring your ride to a halt if you smell anything suspicious or see any smokes, avoid parking near flammable substances or beside electric poles or transformers, turn off the engine at the time of refuel, don’t use cheap substitute accessories that tamper original wiring… And the list goes on.
Importantly, choose the best car insurance quote to ensure you and your car are well covered in the event of an accidental fire. Then you can get help quickly and easily.
We hope you enjoyed this essential guide focusing on the critical aspects of tackling an unexpected fire and giving suitable advice on how you can avoid similar scenarios in the future.