Every year, more than 100,000 cars catch fire in the UK and about 100 people die because of these fires. According to fireservice.co.uk, about 65 per cent of these fires are acts of vandalism, fraudulent insurance claims or cover-ups for criminal activities. In many other causes, when a car catches fire, it is caused by poor car maintenance or lack of common sense. It could easily be prevented.
Others are caused by more or less preventable accidents on the road. Whatever the cause, it is often possible to minimise damage and prevent personal injuries by knowing what to do if your car catches fire.
Steps to take if your car catches fire
When your car catches fire, be it as the result of an electrical or petrol-related fault or through a road traffic accident, you should:
- Switch the engine off
- Release the car’s bonnet, but do not open it
- Get everybody out of the car
- Get as far away from the car as possible and stay away
- Keep others and onlookers away from the car
- Call the fire brigade
- If it is safe enough to do so, warn oncoming traffic
- If you are sure that it is safe to try and put out the fire yourself, attempt to do so using a foam or dry powder extinguisher
Should the fire be located in the engine compartment, aim the fire extinguisher under the bonnet edge or through the car’s radiator grille. Do not open the bonnet, and under no circumstances use water on a fire in the engine. This can cause wiring to short out or spread burning petrol, which can have disastrous consequences.
If you are injured because your car catches fire due to a mechanic carrying out poor repairs or maintenance on your vehicle, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim.
You may also be able to claim for driver or passenger injury compensation if you were hurt in a vehicle accident caused by another driver.
Accident Advice Helpline
Our in-house car accident claim specialists have over 15 years’ worth of experience in handling claims like yours. Able to deal with many of the processes involved in no-win, no-fee driver injury claims over the phone, they can bring your claim to a successful conclusion efficiently and speedily.
Call our confidential no-obligation helpline on 0800 689 0500, or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile, now.